Browsing by Subject "4111 Agronomy"

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  • Koppelmäki, Kari; Eerola, Markus; Albov, Sophia; Kivelä, Jukka; Helenius, Juha; Winquist, Erika; Virkkunen, Elina (2016)
    COMREC Studies in Environment and Development
    What could be a functioning food system model for a food secure and sustainable world. This project studies a pilot case - 'Palopuro Agroecological Symbiosis' (Palopuro AS) - for restructuring the food system in Palopuro village in the Finnish countryside. The project challenges the present linear, globalizing food chain and suggests a global network of localized cyclical systems. A local food cycle highlights reconnection of farmers and consumers, minimizes nutrient loss, and relies on local (bio)energy. This project investigates the cultural, social, political, ecological, and spatial changes in Finnish agricultural landscapes as a result of implementation of an ecological symbiosis . We use the term ‘agro-ecological symbiosis’ to describe the cooperation between producers, processors, other businesses, and consumers in an effort to build an integrated food system.
  • Reichenau, Tim G.; Korres, Wolfgang; Schmidt, Marius; Graf, Alexander; Welp, Gerhard; Meyer, Nele; Stadler, Anja; Brogi, Cosimo; Schneider, Karl (2020)
    The development and validation of hydroecological land-surface models to simulate agricultural areas require extensive data on weather, soil properties, agricultural management, and vegetation states and fluxes. However, these comprehensive data are rarely available since measurement, quality control, documentation, and compilation of the different data types are costly in terms of time and money. Here, we present a comprehensive dataset, which was collected at four agricultural sites within the Rur catchment in western Germany in the framework of the Transregional Collaborative Research Centre 32 (TR32) "Patterns in Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere Systems: Monitoring, Modeling and Data Assimilation". Vegetation-related data comprise fresh and dry biomass (green and brown, predominantly per organ), plant height, green and brown leaf area index, phenological development state, nitrogen and carbon content (overall > 17 000 entries), and masses of harvest residues and regrowth of vegetation after harvest or before planting of the main crop (> 250 entries). Vegetation data including LAI were collected in frequencies of 1 to 3 weeks in the years 2015 until 2017, mostly during overflights of the Sentinel 1 and Radarsat 2 satellites. In addition, fluxes of carbon, energy, and water (> 180 000 half-hourly records) measured using the eddy covariance technique are included. Three flux time series have simultaneous data from two different heights. Data on agricultural management include sowing and harvest dates as well as information on cultivation, fertilization, and agrochemicals (27 management periods). The dataset also includes gap-filled weather data (> 200 000 hourly records) and soil parameters (particle size distributions, carbon and nitrogen content; > 800 records). These data can also be useful for development and validation of remote-sensing products. The dataset is hosted at the TR32 database (, last access: 29 September 2020) and has the DOI (Reichenau et al., 2020).
  • Reckling, Moritz; Hecker, Jens-Martin; Bergkvist, Goeran; Watson, Christine A.; Zander, Peter; Schlaefke, Nicole; Stoddard, Frederick L.; Eory, Vera; Topp, Cairistiona F. E.; Maire, Juliette; Bachinger, Johann (2016)
    Methods are needed for the design and evaluation of cropping systems, in order to test the effects of introducing or reintroducing crops into rotations. The interaction of legumes with other crops (rotational effects) requires an assessment at the cropping system scale. The objective of this work is to introduce a cropping system framework to assess the impacts of changes in cropping systems in a participatory approach with experts, i.e., the integration of legumes into crop rotations and to demonstrate its application in two case studies. The framework consists of a rule-based rotation generator and a set of algorithms to calculate impact indicators. It follows a three-step approach: (i) generate rotations, (ii) evaluate crop production activities using environmental, economic and phytosanitary indicators, and (iii) design cropping systems and assess their impacts. Experienced agronomists and environmental scientists were involved at several stages of the framework development and testing in order to ensure the practicability of designed cropping systems. The framework was tested in Vastra Gotaland (Sweden) and Brandenburg (Germany) by comparing cropping systems with and without legumes. In both case studies, cropping systems with legumes reduced nitrous oxide emissions with comparable or slightly lower nitrate-N leaching, and had positive phytosanitary effects. In arable systems with grain legumes, gross margins were lower than in cropping systems without legumes despite taking pre-crop effects into account. Forage cropping systems with legumes had higher or equivalent gross margins and at the same time higher environmental benefits than cropping systems without legumes. The framework supports agronomists to design sustainable legume-supported cropping systems and to assess their impacts. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
  • Sacchi, Giovanna; Cei, Leonardo; Stefani, Gianluca; Lombardi, Ginevra Virginia; Rocchi, Benedetto; Belletti, Giovanni; Padel, Susanne; Sellars, Anna; Gagliardi, Edneia; Nocella, Giuseppe; Cardey, Sarah; Mikkola, Minna Maria; Ala-Karvia, Urszula Anna; Macken-Walsh, Àine; McIntyre, Bridin; Hyland, John; Henchion, Maeve; Bocci, Riccardo; Bussi, Bettina; De Santis, Giuseppe; Rodriguez y Hurtado, Ismael; de Kochko, Patrick; Riviere, Pierre; Carrascosa-García, María; Martínez, Ignacio; Pearce, Bruce; Lampkin, Nic; Vindras, Camille; Rey, Frederic; Chable, Véronique; Cormery, Antoine; Vasvari, Gyula (2018)
    Organic and low-input food systems are emerging worldwide in answer to the sustainability crisis of the conventional agri-food sector. “Alternative” systems are based on local, decentralized approaches to production and processing, regarding quality and health, and short supply-chains for products with strong local identities. Diversity is deeply embedded in these food systems, from the agrobiodiversity grown in farmers’ fields, which improves resilience and adaptation, to diverse approaches, contexts and actors in food manufacturing and marketing. Diversity thus becomes a cross-sectoral issue which acknowledges consumers’ demand for healthy products. In the framework of the European project “CERERE, CEreal REnaissance in Rural Europe: embedding diversity in organic and low-input food systems”, the paper aims at reviewing recent research on alternative and sustainable food systems by adopting an innovative and participatory multi-actor approach; this has involved ten practitioners and twenty-two researchers from across Europe and a variety of technical backgrounds in the paper and analysis stages. The participatory approach is the main innovation and distinctive feature of this literature review. Partners selected indeed what they perceived as most relevant in order to facilitate a transition towards more sustainable and diversity based cereal systems and food chains. This includes issues related to alternative food networks, formal and informal institutional settings, grass root initiatives, consumer involvement and, finally, knowledge exchange and sustainability. The review provides an overview of recent research that is relevant to CERERE partners as well as to anyone interested in alternative and sustainable food systems. The main objective of this paper was indeed to present a narrative of studies, which can form the foundation for future applied research to promote alternative methods of cereal production in Europe.
  • Haapalainen, Minna; Latvala, Satu; Wickstrom, Annika; Wang, Jinhui; Pirhonen, Minna; Nissinen, Anne I. (2020)
    A previously unknown haplotype of the plant pathogen 'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum' (Lso) was found in cultivated carrots and parsnips in eastern Finland. That same haplotype was found in western Finland, over 300 km away, in the family Polygonaceae, the species Fallopia convolvulus (wild buckwheat) and Persicaria lapathifolia (pale persicaria) growing as weeds within carrot and parsnip fields. The infected plants, both apiaceous and polygonaceous, showed symptoms of foliar discolouration. This is the first report of Lso bacteria in plants of the family Polygonaceae. The finding that the polygonaceous plants infected with a previously unknown haplotype of Lso were growing among the apiaceous plants infected with Lso haplotype C suggests that these two haplotypes might be transmitted by different vectors. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the new haplotype, called haplotype H, is distinct from the previously characterized haplotypes and appears to have diverged early from their common ancestor. Multi-locus sequence analysis revealed four different sequence types (strains) within the haplotype H. These findings suggest that the haplotype H is likely to be endemic in northern Europe and that the genetic diversity within the Lso species is higher than previously assumed.
  • Pe'er, Guy; Bonn, Aletta; Bruelheide, Helge; Dieker, Petra; Eisenhauer, Nico; Feindt, Peter H.; Hagedorn, Gregor; Hansjürgens, Bernd; Herzon, Irina; Lomba, Ângela; Marquard, Elisabeth; Moreira, Francisco; Nitsch, Heike; Oppermann, Rainer; Perino, Andrea; Röder, Norbert; Schleyer, Christian; Schindler, Stefan; Wolf, Christine; Zinngrebe, Yves; Lakner, Sebastian (2020)
    Abstract Making agriculture sustainable is a global challenge. In the European Union (EU), the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is failing with respect to biodiversity, climate, soil, land degradation as well as socio-economic challenges. The European Commission's proposal for a CAP post-2020 provides a scope for enhanced sustainability. However, it also allows Member States to choose low-ambition implementation pathways. It therefore remains essential to address citizens' demands for sustainable agriculture and rectify systemic weaknesses in the CAP, using the full breadth of available scientific evidence and knowledge. Concerned about current attempts to dilute the environmental ambition of the future CAP, and the lack of concrete proposals for improving the CAP in the draft of the European Green Deal, we call on the European Parliament, Council and Commission to adopt 10 urgent action points for delivering sustainable food production, biodiversity conservation and climate mitigation. Knowledge is available to help moving towards evidence-based, sustainable European agriculture that can benefit people, nature and their joint futures. The statements made in this article have the broad support of the scientific community, as expressed by above 3,600 signatories to the preprint version of this manuscript. The list can be found here ( A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article.
  • Stoddard, Fred; Mäkelä, Pirjo; Puhakainen, Tuula Anneli (INTECHopen, 2011)
  • Fernandez Bravo, Sergio; Bertomeu Sánchez, José Ramón; Schifter Aceves, Liliana (2021)
    This work is a historic analysis of the use of dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) in Mexico since the 1940s and its implications for the then nascent domestic agrochemical industry and the social development programs boosted by the Mexican State. DDT was introduced to Mexico at the beginning of that decade as one of the main technological inputs of the agrarian and health models designed by the Rockefeller Foundation, which identified both malaria and low agricultural production as critical problems for this country. The adoption of these models by the Mexican political and economic system encouraged the creation of public institutions and a national agrochemical industry as well, which allowed the persistent DDT use and production for more than 50 years in Mexico.
  • Anang, Benjamin Tetteh; Bäckman, Stefan; Sipiläinen, Timo (2020)
    Relying on cross-sectional data from 300 smallholder rice farmers, the study examined the effects of agricultural extension on improved rice variety adoption and farm income in northern Ghana. A recursive bivariate probit (RBP)11RBP – Recursive bivariate probit. model was used to assess the effect of agricultural extension on adoption while regression with endogenous treatment effect model (RETEM)22RETEM – Regression with endogenous treatment effect model. was adopted to evaluate the effect of agricultural extension on farm income. The results indicate a statistically significant effect of agricultural extension on both adoption and farm income. According to the RETEM model, farm income of participants in agricultural extension increased by GH¢916 relative to non-participants. The study highlights significant factors affecting adoption and farm income and provides insight into measures to enhance technology adoption and farm income among smallholder agrarian households in Ghana and other developing countries.
  • Li, Honghong; Penttinen, Petri; Mikkola, Hannu; Lindström, Kristina (2019)
  • Pellikka, Petri; Clark, Barnaby; Gonsamo Gosa, Alemu; Himberg, Nina; Hurskainen, Pekka; Maeda, Eduardo Eiji; Mwang´ombe, James; Omoro, Loice; Siljander, Mika (North-Holland Pub. Co, 2013)
    Developments in Earth Surface Processes
    The indigenous cloud forests in the Taita Hills have suffered substantial degradation for several centuries due to agricultural expansion. Additionally, climate change imposes an imminent threat for local economy and environmental sustainability. In such circumstances, elaborating tools to conciliate socioeconomic growth and natural resources conservation is an enormous challenge. This chapter describes applications of remote sensing and geographic information systems for assessing land-cover changes in the Taita Hills and its surrounding lowlands. Furthermore, it provides an overall assessment on the consequences of land-cover changes to water resources, biodiversity and livelihoods. The analyses presented in this study were undertaken at multiple spatial scales, using field data, airborne digital images and satellite imagery. Furthermore, a modelling framework was designed to delineate agricultural expansion projections and evaluate the future impacts of agriculture on soil erosion and irrigation water demand.
  • Anang, B.T.; Bäckman, S.; Sipiläinen, T. (2016)
    In the current study, we compared technical efficiency of smallholder rice farmers with and without credit in northern Ghana using data from a farm household survey. We fitted a stochastic frontier production function to input and output data to measure technical efficiency. We addressed self-selection into credit participation using propensity score matching and found that the mean efficiency did not differ between credit users and non-users. Credit-participating households had an efficiency of 63.0 percent compared to 61.7 percent for non-participants. The results indicate significant inefficiencies in production and thus a high scope for improving farmers’ technical efficiency through better use of available resources at the current level of technology. Apart from labour and capital, all the conventional farm inputs had a significant effect on rice production. The determinants of efficiency included the respondent’s age, sex, educational status, distance to the nearest market, herd ownership, access to irrigation and specialisation in rice production. From a policy perspective, we recommend that the credit should be channelled to farmers who demonstrate the need for it and show the commitment to improve their production through external financing. Such a screening mechanism will ensure that the credit goes to the right farmers who need it to improve their technical efficiency.
  • Ollinaho, Ossi; Kröger, Markus (2021)
    This article canvasses the current definitions and framings of “agroforestry” in different academic literature and policies. Three key framings of “agroforestry” are identified in the scholarship and explored for their differences. The findings suggest that the distinct schools of research on “agroforestry” focus on distinct points of departure, and these baseline situations from which transitions to what is called “agroforestry” occur vary in distinct ways from monoculture plantations to primary forests. Political-economic analysis is used to scrutinize three key “agroforestry” transition categories: agroecological, agribusiness, and forest degradation, which the article identifies as agroecoforestry (the good), agrobizforestry (the bad), and agrodeforestry (the ugly) transitions, respectively. Examples of each type are provided based on field research in Brazil, and the results are put into a global perspective. The categories are helpful in identifying the “agroforestry” transitions that are currently marketed as good solutions but might also have negative impacts and in highlighting the agroecological agroforestry transitions that would help simultaneously increase global food production, adapt to and mitigate the climate crisis, and achieve equity and social justice.
  • Tian, Yan-Ping; Hepojoki, Jussi; Ranki, Harri; Lankinen, Hilkka; Valkonen, Jari P. T. (2014)
  • Seppä, Laila Elisabet; Tahvonen, Risto; Tuorila, Hely Margareetta (2016)
  • Raudsepp, Piret; Koskar, Julia; Anton, Dea; Meremäe, Kadrin; Kapp, Karmen; Laurson, Peeter; Bleive, Uko; Kaldmäe, Hedi; Roasto, Mati; Püssa, Tõnu (2019)
    BACKGROUND It is important to find plant materials that can inhibit the growth of Listeria monocytogenes and other food-spoiling bacteria both in vitro and in situ. The aim of the study was to compare antibacterial and antioxidative activity of selected plant-ethanol infusions: leaves and berries of blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum L.), berries of chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa (Michx.) Elliott) and blue honeysuckle (Lonicera caerulea L. var. edulis); petioles and dark and light roots of garden rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum L.) for potential use in food matrices as antibacterial and antioxidative additives. RESULTS The strongest bacterial growth inhibition was observed in 96% ethanol infusions of the dark roots of rhubarbs. In 96% ethanol, nine out of ten studied plant infusions had antibacterial effect against L. monocytogenes, but in 20% ethanol only the infusions of dark rhubarb roots had a similar effect. Chokeberry and other berries had the highest antioxidative activity, both in 20% and 96% ethanol infusions. CONCLUSION The combination of dark rhubarb roots or petioles and berries of black chokeberry, blackcurrant or some other anthocyanin-rich berries would have potential as both antibacterial and antioxidative additives in food. (c) 2018 Society of Chemical Industry
  • Voothuluru, Priya; Mäkelä, Pirjo; Zhu, Jinming; Yamaguchi, Mineo; Oliver, Melvin J.; Simmonds, John; Sharp, Robert (2020)
    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) can act as signaling molecules involved in the acclimation of plants to various abiotic and biotic stresses. However, it is not clear how the generalized increases in ROS and downstream signaling events that occur in response to stressful conditions are coordinated to modify plant growth and development. Previous studies of maize (Zea mays L.) primary root growth under water deficit stress showed that cell elongation is maintained in the apical region of the growth zone but progressively inhibited further from the apex, and that the rate of cell production is also decreased. It was observed that apoplastic ROS, particularly hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), increased specifically in the apical region of the growth zone under water stress, resulting at least partly from increased oxalate oxidase activity in this region. To assess the function of the increase in apoplastic H2O2 in root growth regulation, transgenic maize lines constitutively expressing a wheat oxalate oxidase were utilized in combination with kinematic growth analysis to examine effects of increased apoplastic H2O2 on the spatial pattern of cell elongation and on cell production in well-watered and water-stressed roots. Effects of H2O2 removal (via scavenger pretreatment) specifically from the apical region of the growth zone were also assessed. The results show that apoplastic H2O2 positively modulates cell production and root elongation under well-watered conditions, whereas the normal increase in apoplastic H2O2 in water-stressed roots is causally related to down-regulation of cell production and root growth inhibition. The effects on cell production were accompanied by changes in spatial profiles of cell elongation and in the length of the growth zone. However, effects on overall cell elongation, as reflected in final cell lengths, were minor. These results reveal a fundamental role of apoplastic H2O2 in regulating cell production and root elongation in both well-watered and water-stressed conditions.
  • Perttila, Sini; Jalava, Taina; Rinne, Marketta; Viana, Gabriel Da Silva; Valaja, Jarmo (2021)
    The apparent (AID) and standardised (SID) ileal amino acid digestibilities in wheat, soybean meal and rapeseed meal were determined with Ross 308 broiler chicken (n = 64) using the slaughter technique with chromium mordanted straw as an indigestible marker. The recovery of endogenous amino acids at the distal ileum was determined with protein-free diet and it was used to calculate the SID digestibilities of the studied feed ingredients. The mean amino acid AID and SID were higher in soybean meal and wheat than in rapeseed meal (p
  • Kuras, Anita; Antonius, Kristina; Kalendar, Ruslan; Kruczynska, Dorota; Korbin, Malgorzata (2013)