AGRO 2015 / FSD5


#Agro2015

The 5th International Symposium for
Farming Systems Design


“Multi-functional farming systems in a changing world”

Le Corum conference center, Montpellier, France


ESA


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Session T7: Scaling up from farm to landscape
and multi-scale scenario analysis of agricultural systems

Feedback by Bernard Hubert (Agropolis International, France), Marc Benoit (INRA, France) and Martin van Ittersum (WUR, The Netherlands)

Tuesday September 8 - Morning
This morning session was built up with 7 oral presentations: an opening one of 20 minutes, five of 10 and one of 5 (linked to a poster). The first by Jean-Marc Blazy (Inra, France) presented an structured framework for integrated analysis and design of agricultural systems illustrated by case studies in a tropical island, the poster concerned participatory scenarios development in Camargue (France), the 5 others were presented by researchers from CIMMYT, Germany and France. Most of them deal with the issue of multi-scale modeling and designing farming systems, including crop-livestock systems. Because of the hierarchical organization of agricultural landscapes, the design of agricultural systems satisfying multiple objectives relevant at different scales requires an explicit understanding of the interrelationships between field, farm and territory scales as well as to assess tradeoffs in sustainability goals. A form of landscape agronomy is needed that goes beyond pursuing partial results such as closing crop or animal yield gaps, to propend to resource use efficiencies that emerge at scale (farm, landscape) as a result of interactions between system components and spatial units at lower integration levels. The efficiency at higher levels is more than the sum of efficiencies at lower ones. Such a redesign at a territorial scale raises methodological issues: who should design and how to allow a sustainable and long-term change of local practices? Which knowledge should be used? The very rich presentations gave some answers to these questions.

Tuesday September 8 – afternoon (Part 1)
The second part of T7 session included 4 oral presentations (15 minutes) and 3 short ones explaining their poster (5 minutes):
- Olivier Godinot ( Inra, France) showed us a very large scale topic: indicators for the evaluation of nitrogen balance and efficiency in the agricultural land for the 27 Member States of European Union,
- Chris Stoate (GWCT Allerton Project, United kingdom) presented the scaling up processes from field and farm scale to landscape scale for agricultural catchment strategies.
- In the same topic of water resources protection , Til Feike (Juilius Kühn Institut, Germany) through integration of agricultural and water policies for more sustainable crop production in Northwestern China,
- Focusing on another fragile resource, the soil and his conservation, Perry Poulton (CSIRO, Australia) presented the use of photogrammetry to minimize threats from broad scale resource developments on farmlands and for farmers.
- The theme of crop-livestock farming systems was developed by Andrew Smith (CSIRO, Australia) with a critical question: what levels of integration result in different benefits?

The discussions allowed our session to point out some common questions:
- How can we share experiences on evaluation of farming system efficiencies (multiple goals) at diverse levels, farm, landscape, country?
- Are we able to design precise methods and not to forget their ability to be shared to a large range of stakeholders: farmers, of cause, but also catchment managers, policy makers…?
- The scenario topic was only the center of Pierre Chopin (Inra France) poster on a modeling framework for designing/assessing agricultural landscapes with scenario analysis. Why was this topic so little mentioned in presentations and posters?
- Is crop-livestock farming systems the “new frontier” for agronomists and mostly landscape agronomists when they focused on sustainable development issues? The posters of (1) Tom Wassenaar (CIRAD, France) and Mary Ollenburger (WUR, The Netherlands) enlarged this challenge through (1) co-designing organic residue recycling chains in off-balance regions, and (2) sustainable extensification into Africa’s Sleeping Giant.
- Finally a question needed more information: how agronomists developed methods to catch the emergent properties of higher levels than farms in farming system research?

Tuesday September 8, afternoon (part 2)

This session had to be re-arranged because unfortunately its keynote was not able to make last minute. Most of the presentations focused on assessing past and future dynamics of agricultural landscapes. Dynamics of farming systems, crop rotations or crop sequences were addressed with novel methods. The studies were focusing on case studies in France and in West Africa. In addition, the session also included a meta-analysis about yield gap analysis studies, presenting the key factors that have been included in yield gap analyses across the globe and how these explain yield gaps. That presentation also provided an example of how new data collection techniques (crowd sourcing) could assist in collecting information to explain yield gaps.

 


Updated 02.02.16



Organizing Committee FSD5
/ AGRO2015
Contact: Brigitte Cabantous - Tel. +33 (0)4.67.61.49.22 - Fax. +33 (0)4.67.61.75.19
Email: fsd5@european-agronomy.org

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