Bibliography Tag: food systems

LaCanne and Lundgren, 2018

LaCanne, C. E., & Lundgren, J. G.; “Regenerative agriculture: merging farming and natural resource conservation profitably;” PeerJ, 2018, 6, e4428; DOI: 10.7717/peerj.4428.

ABSTRACT:

Most cropland in the United States is characterized by large monocultures, whose productivity is maintained through a strong reliance on costly tillage, external fertilizers, and pesticides (Schipanski et al., 2016). Despite this, farmers have developed a regenerative model of farm production that promotes soil health and biodiversity, while producing nutrient-dense farm products profitably. Little work has focused on the relative costs and benefits of novel regenerative farming operations, which necessitates studying in situ, farmer-defined best management practices. Here, we evaluate the relative effects of regenerative and conventional corn production systems on pest management services, soil conservation, and farmer profitability and productivity throughout the Northern Plains of the United States. Regenerative farming systems provided greater ecosystem services and profitability for farmers than an input-intensive model of corn production. Pests were 10-fold more abundant in insecticide-treated corn fields than on insecticide-free regenerative farms, indicating that farmers who proactively design pest-resilient food systems outperform farmers that react to pests chemically. Regenerative fields had 29% lower grain production but 78% higher profits over traditional corn production systems. Profit was positively correlated with the particulate organic matter of the soil, not yield. These results provide the basis for dialogue on ecologically based farming systems that could be used to simultaneously produce food while conserving our natural resource base: two factors that are pitted against one another in simplified food production systems. To attain this requires a systems-level shift on the farm; simply applying individual regenerative practices within the current production model will not likely produce the documented results. FULL TEXT


Schipanski et al., 2016

Schipanski, Meagan E., MacDonald, Graham K., Rosenzweig, Steven, Chappell, M. Jahi, Bennett, Elena M., Kerr, Rachel Bezner, Blesh, Jennifer, Crews, Timothy, Drinkwater, Laurie, Lundgren, Jonathan G., & Schnarr, Cassandra; “Realizing Resilient Food Systems;” BioScience, 2016, 66(7), 600-610; DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biw052.

ABSTRACT:

Food systems are under increasing pressure to produce sufficient food for the global population, decrease the environmental impacts of production, and buffer against complex global change. Food security also remains elusive for many populations worldwide. Greater emphasis on food system resilience could reduce these vulnerabilities. We outline integrated strategies that together could foster food system resilience across scales, including (a) integrating gender equity and social justice into food security research and initiatives, (b) increasing the use of ecological processes rather than external inputs for crop production, (c) fostering regionalized food distribution networks and waste reduction, and (d) linking human nutrition and agricultural production policies. Enhancing social–ecological links and fostering adaptive capacity are essential to cope with short-term volatility and longer-term global change pressures. Finally, we highlight regional case studies that have enhanced food system resilience for vulnerable populations. Efforts in these areas could have dramatic impacts on global food system resilience. FULL TEXT