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Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 3095-3115; doi:10.3390/su5073095
Article

What Do We Need to Know to Enhance the Environmental Sustainability of Agricultural Production? A Prioritisation of Knowledge Needs for the UK Food System

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Received: 3 May 2013; in revised form: 21 June 2013 / Accepted: 3 July 2013 / Published: 17 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food Chains)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [195 KB, uploaded 17 July 2013]
Abstract: Increasing concerns about global environmental change and food security have focused attention on the need for environmentally sustainable agriculture. This is agriculture that makes efficient use of natural resources and does not degrade the environmental systems that underpin it, or deplete natural capital stocks. We convened a group of 29 ‘practitioners’ and 17 environmental scientists with direct involvement or expertise in the environmental sustainability of agriculture. The practitioners included representatives from UK industry, non-government organizations and government agencies. We collaboratively developed a long list of 264 knowledge needs to help enhance the environmental sustainability of agriculture within the UK or for the UK market. We refined and selected the most important knowledge needs through a three-stage process of voting, discussion and scoring. Scientists and practitioners identified similar priorities. We present the 26 highest priority knowledge needs. Many of them demand integration of knowledge from different disciplines to inform policy and practice. The top five are about sustainability of livestock feed, trade-offs between ecosystem services at farm or landscape scale, phosphorus recycling and metrics to measure sustainability. The outcomes will be used to guide on-going knowledge exchange work, future science policy and funding.
Keywords: agriculture; environment; knowledge gaps; sustainability; farming; retail; food agriculture; environment; knowledge gaps; sustainability; farming; retail; food
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Dicks, L.V.; Bardgett, R.D.; Bell, J.; Benton, T.G.; Booth, A.; Bouwman, J.; Brown, C.; Bruce, A.; Burgess, P.J.; Butler, S.J.; Crute, I.; Dixon, F.; Drummond, C.; Freckleton, R.P.; Gill, M.; Graham, A.; Hails, R.S.; Hallett, J.; Hart, B.; Hillier, J.G.; Holland, J.M.; Huxley, J.N.; Ingram, J.S.I.; King, V.; MacMillan, T.; McGonigle, D.F.; McQuaid, C.; Nevard, T.; Norman, S.; Norris, K.; Pazderka, C.; Poonaji, I.; Quinn, C.H.; Ramsden, S.J.; Sinclair, D.; Siriwardena, G.M.; Vickery, J.A.; Whitmore, A.P.; Wolmer, W.; Sutherland, W.J. What Do We Need to Know to Enhance the Environmental Sustainability of Agricultural Production? A Prioritisation of Knowledge Needs for the UK Food System. Sustainability 2013, 5, 3095-3115.

AMA Style

Dicks LV, Bardgett RD, Bell J, Benton TG, Booth A, Bouwman J, Brown C, Bruce A, Burgess PJ, Butler SJ, Crute I, Dixon F, Drummond C, Freckleton RP, Gill M, Graham A, Hails RS, Hallett J, Hart B, Hillier JG, Holland JM, Huxley JN, Ingram JSI, King V, MacMillan T, McGonigle DF, McQuaid C, Nevard T, Norman S, Norris K, Pazderka C, Poonaji I, Quinn CH, Ramsden SJ, Sinclair D, Siriwardena GM, Vickery JA, Whitmore AP, Wolmer W, Sutherland WJ. What Do We Need to Know to Enhance the Environmental Sustainability of Agricultural Production? A Prioritisation of Knowledge Needs for the UK Food System. Sustainability. 2013; 5(7):3095-3115.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dicks, Lynn V.; Bardgett, Richard D.; Bell, Jenny; Benton, Tim G.; Booth, Angela; Bouwman, Jan; Brown, Chris; Bruce, Ann; Burgess, Paul J.; Butler, Simon J.; Crute, Ian; Dixon, Frances; Drummond, Caroline; Freckleton, Robert P.; Gill, Maggie; Graham, Andrea; Hails, Rosie S.; Hallett, James; Hart, Beth; Hillier, Jon G.; Holland, John M.; Huxley, Jonathan N.; Ingram, John S.I.; King, Vanessa; MacMillan, Tom; McGonigle, Daniel F.; McQuaid, Carmel; Nevard, Tim; Norman, Steve; Norris, Ken; Pazderka, Catherine; Poonaji, Inder; Quinn, Claire H.; Ramsden, Stephen J.; Sinclair, Duncan; Siriwardena, Gavin M.; Vickery, Juliet A.; Whitmore, Andrew P.; Wolmer, William; Sutherland, William J. 2013. "What Do We Need to Know to Enhance the Environmental Sustainability of Agricultural Production? A Prioritisation of Knowledge Needs for the UK Food System." Sustainability 5, no. 7: 3095-3115.


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