E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Renewable Agriculture"

Quicklinks

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2009)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Stephen S. Jones

Director, Northwestern Research and Extension Center, Washington State University, Mount Vernon, Washington 98273, USA
E-Mail
Phone: 360-416-5210

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For centuries the perceived need for an immediate and dramatic increase in agricultural production has been a theme throughout the developed world. But only very recently, and with less urgency, has society recognized the need for the true sustainability of agricultural production. For long-term sustainability, agriculture must have the capacity for renewal.

Even the most basic forms of agriculture require an input of energy, this in essence is what defines the system as agricultural. Starting with human and animal labor, energy inputs have developed into an industrial system using fertilizers, water, seed, pest control, and other products often brought in from off the farm. While these products may increase production, for the most part they are non-renewable, require vast amounts of fuel to produce and transport, are costly, and may harm the native organisms and environment. Additionally, most seed in industrial agriculture is non-renewable due to legal and genetic mechanisms that make it problematic for farmers to save and replant what they have grown on their farms.

Is a renewable agriculture with a high level of productivity possible? What research is underway to test the robustness of current systems when measured against a standard of true long-term sustainability?

Stephen S. Jones, Ph. D.
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • renewable agriculture
  • sustainable food systems
  • sutainability
  • input
  • off-farm
  • low-input
  • seed
  • animal-integrated

Published Papers (19 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-19
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle A Probabilistic Analysis of the Switchgrass Ethanol Cycle
Sustainability 2010, 2(10), 3158-3194; doi:10.3390/su2103158
Received: 24 August 2010 / Revised: 26 September 2010 / Accepted: 29 September 2010 / Published: 30 September 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (849 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The switchgrass-driven process for producing ethanol has received much popular attention. However, a realistic analysis of this process indicates three serious limitations: (a) If switchgrass planted on 140 million hectares (the entire area of active U.S. cropland) were used as feedstock and energy
[...] Read more.
The switchgrass-driven process for producing ethanol has received much popular attention. However, a realistic analysis of this process indicates three serious limitations: (a) If switchgrass planted on 140 million hectares (the entire area of active U.S. cropland) were used as feedstock and energy source for ethanol production, the net ethanol yield would replace on average about 20% of today’s gasoline consumption in the U.S. (b) Because nonrenewable resources are required to produce ethanol from switchgrass, the incremental gas emissions would be on average 55 million tons of equivalent carbon dioxide per year to replace just 10% of U.S. automotive gasoline. (c) In terms of delivering electrical or mechanical power, ethanol from 1 hectare (10,000 m2) of switchgrass is equivalent, on average, to 30 m2 of low-efficiency photovoltaic cells. This analysis suggests that investing toward more efficient and durable solar cells, and batteries, may be more promising than investing in a process to convert switchgrass to ethanol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Comparison of the Farming System and Carbon Sequestration between Conventional and Organic Rice Production in West Java, Indonesia
Sustainability 2010, 2(3), 833-843; doi:10.3390/su2030833
Received: 1 February 2010 / Revised: 20 February 2010 / Accepted: 1 March 2010 / Published: 22 March 2010
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (719 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Organic farming provides many benefits in Indonesia: it can improve soil quality, food quality and soil carbon sequestration. This study was designed to compare soil carbon sequestration levels between conventional and organic rice farming fields in west Java, Indonesia. The results from soil
[...] Read more.
Organic farming provides many benefits in Indonesia: it can improve soil quality, food quality and soil carbon sequestration. This study was designed to compare soil carbon sequestration levels between conventional and organic rice farming fields in west Java, Indonesia. The results from soil analysis indicate that organic farming leads to soil with significantly higher soil carbon storage capacity than conventional farming. Organic farming can also cut some farming costs, but it requires about twice as much labor. The sharecropping system of rice farming in Indonesia is highly exploitative of workers; therefore, research should be conducted to develop a fairer organic farming system that can enhance both local and global sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Locally Grown Foods and Farmers Markets: Consumer Attitudes and Behaviors
Sustainability 2010, 2(3), 742-756; doi:10.3390/su2030742
Received: 9 February 2010 / Revised: 4 March 2010 / Accepted: 10 March 2010 / Published: 12 March 2010
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (301 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Farm viability poses a grave challenge to the sustainability of agriculture and food systems: the number of acres in production continues to decline as the majority of farms earn negative net income. Two related and often overlapping marketing strategies, (i) locally grown foods
[...] Read more.
Farm viability poses a grave challenge to the sustainability of agriculture and food systems: the number of acres in production continues to decline as the majority of farms earn negative net income. Two related and often overlapping marketing strategies, (i) locally grown foods and (ii) distribution at farmers markets, can directly enhance food system sustainability by improving farm profitability and long-term viability, as well as contributing to an array of ancillary benefits. We present results of a representative Michigan telephone survey, which measured consumers’ perceptions and behaviors around local foods and farmers markets. We discuss the implications of our findings on greater farm profitability. We conclude with suggestions for future research to enhance the contributions of locally grown foods and farmers markets to overall food system sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Renewable Energy Use in Smallholder Farming Systems: A Case Study in Tafresh Township of Iran
Sustainability 2010, 2(3), 702-716; doi:10.3390/su2030702
Received: 28 December 2009 / Accepted: 9 February 2010 / Published: 4 March 2010
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (73 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study was conducted to investigate use of renewable energy and materials in smallholder farming system of the Tafresh township of Iran. The population of the study consisted of 2,400 small farmers working in the smallholder farming systems of the area, in which
[...] Read more.
This study was conducted to investigate use of renewable energy and materials in smallholder farming system of the Tafresh township of Iran. The population of the study consisted of 2,400 small farmers working in the smallholder farming systems of the area, in which 133 people were selected as sample using Cochran formula and simple random sampling technique. In order to gather the information, a questionnaire was developed for the study and validated by the judgment of the experts in agricultural development and extension. The reliability of the main scales of the questionnaire was examined by Cronbach Alpha coefficients, which ranged from 0.7 to 0.93, indicating the tool of study is reliable. The findings revealed that the majority of the respondents use renewable energy and materials directly in its traditional forms without enabling technologies, and they lack the access to renewable technologies to improve the efficiency of energy use. They preferred fossil energy for many activities due to its lower cost and ease of access. The overall conclusion is that there are potentials and capacities for using renewable energies and materials in the farming systems of the Tafresh township. The government has to support and encourage the adoption of renewable technologies and abandon fossil fuels wherever possible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Barriers and Opportunities for Sustainable Food Systems in Northeastern Kansas
Sustainability 2010, 2(1), 232-251; doi:10.3390/su2010232
Received: 19 November 2009 / Accepted: 6 January 2010 / Published: 12 January 2010
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (391 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Survey responses of producers and institutional buyers in northeastern Kansas (United States) were analyzed to understand barriers and opportunities for sustainable food systems in the region where their emergence has been limited. Producers and buyers identified barriers previously noted regarding mismatches of available
[...] Read more.
Survey responses of producers and institutional buyers in northeastern Kansas (United States) were analyzed to understand barriers and opportunities for sustainable food systems in the region where their emergence has been limited. Producers and buyers identified barriers previously noted regarding mismatches of available quantities and prices. Producers’ enthusiasm to supply locally exceeded buyers’ interest to source locally. Transportation was identified as one of the major concerns by producers, and their responses to choice tasks revealed producers’ preferences to sell locally while pricing their products to secure sales revenue and to cover their logistics expenses at least partially. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Local Selling Decisions and the Technical Efficiency of Organic Farms
Sustainability 2010, 2(1), 189-203; doi:10.3390/su2010189
Received: 16 November 2009 / Accepted: 5 January 2010 / Published: 11 January 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (192 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The primary purpose of this paper is to examine the factors that influence earned income of organic farmers explicitly incorporating farmer decisions to engage in local selling. The stochastic frontier model identifies role model producers who are the most technically efficient in achieving
[...] Read more.
The primary purpose of this paper is to examine the factors that influence earned income of organic farmers explicitly incorporating farmer decisions to engage in local selling. The stochastic frontier model identifies role model producers who are the most technically efficient in achieving the maximum output that is feasible with a given set of inputs along with farm and demographic factors that enhance efficiency. Organic earnings equations that control for producer and farm characteristics reveal that organic farmers who are involved in local sales achieve lower earnings. Producer involvement in local sales has little impact on observed technical efficiency on organic farms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Overcoming the Barriers to Organic Adoption in the United States: A Look at Pragmatic Conventional Producers in Texas
Sustainability 2010, 2(1), 163-188; doi:10.3390/su2010163
Received: 7 December 2009 / Accepted: 5 January 2010 / Published: 8 January 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (327 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Organics is the one of the fastest growing segments in food sales. Though the amount of certified organic land is increasing, the supply of organic foods lags behind demand in the United States. The reasons for this gap include a lack of government
[...] Read more.
Organics is the one of the fastest growing segments in food sales. Though the amount of certified organic land is increasing, the supply of organic foods lags behind demand in the United States. The reasons for this gap include a lack of government support for organics, and the peculiarities of organics as an innovation. In an attempt to close this gap, and increase the environmental sustainability of U.S. agriculture, this paper has two objectives. The first is to document the structural and institutional constraints to organic adoption. This is accomplished through a review of organic programs and policies in the U.S., in particular the National Organic Program. The second objective is to investigate the predictors of interest and the perceived barriers to organic adoption among pragmatic conventional producers in Texas, compared to organic and conventional producers. This is accomplished through a survey of a representative sample of producers in Texas. The results indicate that more than forty percent of producers who currently have conventional operations have at least some interest in organic production (pragmatic conventional producers). There are significant differences among the three groups in their structural and attitudinal characteristics related to organic adoption. For the pragmatic conventional producers, an increase in revenue would be a major facilitator of organic adoption. Their high levels of uncertainty regarding organic production and marketing, and especially organic certification constrain organic adoption. The results also reveal that the institutional setting in the U.S. hindered adoption. The paper concludes that increased institutional support would facilitate organic adoption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Socioeconomic Obstacles to Establishing a Participatory Plant Breeding Program for Organic Growers in the United States
Sustainability 2010, 2(1), 73-91; doi:10.3390/su2010073
Received: 3 November 2009 / Accepted: 24 December 2009 / Published: 29 December 2009
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (183 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Proponents of participatory plant breeding (PPB) contend that it is more conducive to promoting agricultural biodiversity than conventional plant breeding. The argument is that conventional plant breeding tends to produce crops for homogenous environments, while PPB tends to be directed at meeting the
[...] Read more.
Proponents of participatory plant breeding (PPB) contend that it is more conducive to promoting agricultural biodiversity than conventional plant breeding. The argument is that conventional plant breeding tends to produce crops for homogenous environments, while PPB tends to be directed at meeting the diverse environmental conditions of the farmers participating in a breeding program. Social scientific research is needed to highlight the complex socioeconomic factors that inhibit efforts to initiate PPB programs. To contribute, we offer a case study of a participatory organic seed production project that involved a university breeding program, commercial organic seed dealers, and organic farmers in the Northeastern United States. We demonstrate that, although PPB may indeed promote agricultural biodiversity, several socioeconomic obstacles must be overcome to establish such a program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Negotiating Uncertainty: Jamaican Small Farmers’ Adaptation and Coping Strategies, Before and After Hurricanes—A Case Study of Hurricane Dean
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1366-1387; doi:10.3390/su1041366
Received: 29 October 2009 / Accepted: 10 December 2009 / Published: 16 December 2009
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1801 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, Jamaica has been seriously affected by a number of extreme meteorological events. The one discussed here, Hurricane Dean, passed along the south coast of the island in August 2007, damaging crops and disrupting livelihood activities for many small-scale farmers. This
[...] Read more.
In recent years, Jamaica has been seriously affected by a number of extreme meteorological events. The one discussed here, Hurricane Dean, passed along the south coast of the island in August 2007, damaging crops and disrupting livelihood activities for many small-scale farmers. This study is based on detailed ethnographic research in the southern coastal region of St. Elizabeth parish during the passage of Hurricane Dean, and explores the ways in which small farmers negotiate the stressors associated with hurricane events. The study employed a mix methods approach based on a survey of 282 farming households. The paper documents coping strategies employed by farmers in the immediate period of Hurricane Dean to reduce damage to their farming systems, and highlights the positive correlation between farmers’ perceptions of hurricanes and degree of damage to local farming systems. In addition, through an analysis of socio-economic and environmental data, the paper provides an understanding of the determinants of adaptive capacity and strategy among farmers in the area. The study indicated that despite high levels of vulnerability, farmers have achieved successful coping and adaptation at the farm level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Visualizing Consolidation in the Global Seed Industry: 1996–2008
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1266-1287; doi:10.3390/su1041266
Received: 28 October 2009 / Accepted: 4 December 2009 / Published: 8 December 2009
Cited by 62 | PDF Full-text (933 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The commercial seed industry has undergone tremendous consolidation in the last 40 years as transnational corporations entered this agricultural sector, and acquired or merged with competing firms. This trend is associated with impacts that constrain the opportunities for renewable agriculture, such as reductions
[...] Read more.
The commercial seed industry has undergone tremendous consolidation in the last 40 years as transnational corporations entered this agricultural sector, and acquired or merged with competing firms. This trend is associated with impacts that constrain the opportunities for renewable agriculture, such as reductions in seed lines and a declining prevalence of seed saving. To better characterize the current structure of the industry, ownership changes from 1996 to 2008 are represented visually with information graphics. Since the commercialization of transgenic crops in the mid-1990s, the sale of seeds has become dominated globally by Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta. In addition, the largest firms are increasingly networked through agreements to cross-license transgenic seed traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Sustainability in Agricultural Mechanization: Assessment of a Combined Photovoltaic and Electric Multipurpose System for Farmers
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1042-1068; doi:10.3390/su1041042
Received: 9 September 2009 / Accepted: 6 November 2009 / Published: 17 November 2009
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (910 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study is dedicated to the assessment of the possibility of replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy as a source of power in modern agriculture. We examined the use of a completely sustainable agricultural mechanization system based on a renewable energy system and
[...] Read more.
This study is dedicated to the assessment of the possibility of replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy as a source of power in modern agriculture. We examined the use of a completely sustainable agricultural mechanization system based on a renewable energy system and a battery powered, multi-purpose agricultural vehicle. This assessment is based on the RAMseS project, financed by the European Commission under the 6th Framework Program, which has led to the actual manufacturing of the system, at present being tested in Lebanon. In the present study, we assess the environmental and economic performance of the RAMseS system. We evaluate the external costs by means of a specific model that takes into account the life-cycle cost (LCC), economical indexes, and life-cycle emissions for the vehicle during its life span. The results are compared with those of a standard vehicle based on the internal combustion engine (ICEV). The results show that the RAMseS system can avoid the emission of about 23 ton of CO2equ per year. The life cycle cost (LCC) assessment using MATLAB software shows that the LCC for the RAMseS vehicle and the ICEV are the same for a fuel unit price (pf) of 1.45 €/L. Finally, we show that almost 52 % of the RAMseS LCC is due to the batteries of the electric vehicle. A 50% decrease in batteries unit cost would cause the LCC of two system to be the same at a fuel cost of 0.8 €/L. The final result is that the RAMseS system remains—at present— marginally more expensive than an equivalent system based on conventional fuels and internal combustion engines. Nevertheless, with the gradual depletion of fossil fuels, all electric agricultural mechanized system provide an alternative solution that is dependent only on renewable energy and recyclable resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Lessons from Participatory Evaluation of Cropping Practices in Yunnan Province, China: Overview of the Effectiveness of Technologies and Issues Related to Technology Adoption
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 628-661; doi:10.3390/su1030628
Received: 9 August 2009 / Accepted: 9 September 2009 / Published: 16 September 2009
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (195 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Increasing crop production, while maintaining sustainability, is a priority for agricultural development projects, particularly in developing countries. This study investigated the factors contributing to the effectiveness of agricultural development projects in improving the sustainability of cropping systems in a small upland watershed in
[...] Read more.
Increasing crop production, while maintaining sustainability, is a priority for agricultural development projects, particularly in developing countries. This study investigated the factors contributing to the effectiveness of agricultural development projects in improving the sustainability of cropping systems in a small upland watershed in south-west China. This involved a review of recent related projects and detailed evaluation of one project: the SHASEA Project. Farmers’ perceptions of several agricultural technologies are discussed, along with factors contributing to farmers’ adoption of these technologies. Local, national and international institutions need to adopt several strategies to improve project effectiveness and agro-environmental sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Growth and Development in the U.S. Retail Organic Food Sector
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 573-591; doi:10.3390/su1030573
Received: 17 July 2009 / Accepted: 29 August 2009 / Published: 3 September 2009
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (328 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study uses retail purchase data reported by the Nielsen Homescan panel to examine the development of selected U.S. organic food sectors since the implementation of the National Organic Standards. Results show that organic market shares within the fresh fruit and vegetable sectors
[...] Read more.
This study uses retail purchase data reported by the Nielsen Homescan panel to examine the development of selected U.S. organic food sectors since the implementation of the National Organic Standards. Results show that organic market shares within the fresh fruit and vegetable sectors grew slightly in 2003–2006. Apples, bananas, carrots, and tomatoes prove to have the highest share of organic sales within their sectors. The share of organic milk sales attributed to private labels has increased from 12 to 32 percent in 2004–2007. The organic market share within the strained baby food sector almost doubled from 8 to 15 percent in 2004–2007. Findings show a demographically diverse group of consumers willing to expend their food dollars on organic foods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle U.S. Demand for Organic and Conventional Fresh Fruits: The Roles of Income and Price
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 464-478; doi:10.3390/su1030464
Received: 17 July 2009 / Accepted: 10 August 2009 / Published: 14 August 2009
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (351 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using retail purchase data reported by Nielsen’s Homescan panel this study investigates the U.S. demand for organic and conventional fresh fruits. The study fills an important research void by estimating the much needed income and price elasticities for organic and conventional fruits utilizing
[...] Read more.
Using retail purchase data reported by Nielsen’s Homescan panel this study investigates the U.S. demand for organic and conventional fresh fruits. The study fills an important research void by estimating the much needed income and price elasticities for organic and conventional fruits utilizing a censored demand approach. Household income is found to affect organic fruit consumption. Consumers are more responsive to price of organic fruits than to price of conventional fruits. Cross-price effects suggest that a change in relative prices will more likely induce consumers to “cross-over” from buying conventional fruits to buying organic fruits, while it is less likely that organic consumers will “revert” to buying conventional fruits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Agricultural Systems Located in the Forest-Savanna Ecotone of the Venezuelan Amazonian. Are Organic Agroforestry Farms Sustainable?
Sustainability 2009, 1(2), 215-233; doi:10.3390/su1020215
Received: 9 February 2009 / Accepted: 8 April 2009 / Published: 22 May 2009
PDF Full-text (328 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The savannas located in the forest-savanna ecotone in the Venezuelan Amazon have unfertile sandy ultisols and entisols which show a very low crop production unless they are supplemented with large amounts of fertiliser. In spite of this restriction, local farmers have established long-term
[...] Read more.
The savannas located in the forest-savanna ecotone in the Venezuelan Amazon have unfertile sandy ultisols and entisols which show a very low crop production unless they are supplemented with large amounts of fertiliser. In spite of this restriction, local farmers have established long-term production systems by using low input doses of organic manure. The use of organic waste in unfertile ultisols and entisols typical of savannas have resulted in increases in organic matter content and biological activities in soils with respect to inorganic fertilised or non-fertilised natural savanna, which, in turn, may be related to increases in crop productivity. These results could be a successful and reliable soil management technique for rehabilitation of the South American savannas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Considering Structural, Individual and Social Network Explanations for Ecologically Sustainable Agriculture: An Example Drawn from Washington State Wheat Growers
Sustainability 2009, 1(2), 120-132; doi:10.3390/su1020120
Received: 18 March 2009 / Accepted: 7 April 2009 / Published: 14 April 2009
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (183 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As acceptance of the concept of agricultural sustainability has grown, it has become increasingly recognized that notions of sustainability and how to promote it will necessarily vary depending on the commodity in question. It thus becomes important to investigate how movements towards sustainability
[...] Read more.
As acceptance of the concept of agricultural sustainability has grown, it has become increasingly recognized that notions of sustainability and how to promote it will necessarily vary depending on the commodity in question. It thus becomes important to investigate how movements towards sustainability are emerging for different commodities. The objective of our paper is to present the results of an analysis of Washington wheat producers that investigates the degree to which interest in sustainability exists amongst those farmers and whether structural factors and farmer personal characteristics are more or less significant than social network factors in explaining farmers’ views of possible sustainable methods. Our findings indicate that a measure indicating use of local social networks to gain information is associated with a higher degree of interest in new production methods aimed at improving agricultural sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Agriculture and Innovation Adoption in a Tropical Small-Scale Food Production System: The Case of Yam Minisetts in Jamaica
Sustainability 2009, 1(1), 81-96; doi:10.3390/su1010081
Received: 20 January 2009 / Accepted: 19 March 2009 / Published: 30 March 2009
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1358 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Grown in Jamaica since the days of slavery, food yams are major staples in local diets and a significant non-traditional export crop. The cultivation system used today is the same as 300 years ago, with alleged unsustainable practices. A new cultivation system called
[...] Read more.
Grown in Jamaica since the days of slavery, food yams are major staples in local diets and a significant non-traditional export crop. The cultivation system used today is the same as 300 years ago, with alleged unsustainable practices. A new cultivation system called minisett was introduced in 1985 but the adoption rate twenty four years later is extremely low. This paper analyzes the prospects for the widespread adoption of minisett and sustainable yam cultivation and advocates that greater use be made of farmers’ extensive knowledge of the complex agro-ecological, socio-cultural and economic milieu in which they operate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview The Sustainability of Organic Grain Production on the Canadian Prairies—A Review
Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 1016-1034; doi:10.3390/su2041016
Received: 2 March 2010 / Revised: 29 March 2010 / Accepted: 12 April 2010 / Published: 14 April 2010
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (215 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Demand for organically produced food products is increasing rapidly in North America, driven by a perception that organic agriculture results in fewer negative environmental impacts and yields greater benefits for human health than conventional systems. Despite the increasing interest in organic grain production
[...] Read more.
Demand for organically produced food products is increasing rapidly in North America, driven by a perception that organic agriculture results in fewer negative environmental impacts and yields greater benefits for human health than conventional systems. Despite the increasing interest in organic grain production on the Canadian Prairies, a number of challenges remain to be addressed to ensure its long-term sustainability. In this review, we summarize Western Canadian research into organic crop production and evaluate its agronomic, environmental, and economic sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Open AccessReview Managing Cuscuta gronovii (Swamp Dodder) in Cranberry Requires an Integrated Approach
Sustainability 2010, 2(2), 660-683; doi:10.3390/su2020660
Received: 11 December 2009 / Accepted: 5 February 2010 / Published: 24 February 2010
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Dodders (Cuscuta spp.) are parasitic plants that threaten the sustainability of many crops. Because this parasite is very adept and successful from biological and ecological perspectives, a single control strategy is unlikely to provide sufficient economic control. Dodder (C. gronovii)
[...] Read more.
Dodders (Cuscuta spp.) are parasitic plants that threaten the sustainability of many crops. Because this parasite is very adept and successful from biological and ecological perspectives, a single control strategy is unlikely to provide sufficient economic control. Dodder (C. gronovii) is a particularly serious pest in commercial cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) production. Multiple viable strategies must be integrated and tailored into a weed management plan to provide acceptable control. The key to sustainable management of this serious pest will require a combination of chemical and cultural approaches, supported by understanding the complicated nature of dodder biology. Research from small fruit production systems like cranberry into the biology of dodder (e.g., germination patterns, host preference, use of plant growth regulators) may provide insights that could ultimately be useful for other crop system management plans. This paper will present the current knowledge base for integrated management of dodder in cranberry as well as highlight relevant research from other crops and potential topics for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
Figures

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Sustainability Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
sustainability@mdpi.com
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Sustainability
Back to Top