Special Issue "Sustainable Crop Production Intensification"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2017

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Professor Michele Pisante

Agronomy and Crop Sciences Research and Education Center, University of Teramo, Via R. Balzarini, 1 - 64100 Teramo, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sustainable agriculture growth and natural resource management; crop production and protection; nutrient and water management; soil conservation and fertility; abiotic stress and agronomic techniques for accumulation of bioactive compounds by secondary metabolism of higher plants and the physiological mechanisms

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainable agriculture integrates the concepts of continuing improvement in agriculture productivity, profitability, and competitiveness by sustainable management of natural resources. One the eve of declining natural resources, changing climate and increasing food demands, the shift from the existing intensive production system to a more sustainable system needs to be an evolving and continuing process. Intertwining challenges of climate change and competition for land, water and energy require attention in the following areas: bridging the gap between actual and potential productivity levels in the agriculture of developing countries; investing in agricultural innovation, broadly defined; and improving national and international research co-operation. For multi-objective optimization, a set of soil-crop-nutrient-water-landscape system management practices, known as Conservation Agriculture (CA), has the potential to achieve all of these goals. CA has the potential for managing decreasing soil productivity and improving the resource-use efficiency and the natural resources base. Hence, it adapts to and mitigates climate change and leads to a more efficient use of inputs to reduce production costs. The integrated approach to Sustainable Crop Production Intensification with adoption of Conservation Agriculture practices, represent a new conceptual issue on Ecosystem ‘Functions’ and ‘Services’ for the predominant sustainable farming systems.

Manuscripts (reviews, perspectives, or original articles) are invited, and may include, but are not limited to, these topics:

  • the major challenges and developments in sustainable agriculture research;

  • intensification crop production for sustainable agriculture;

  • develop environmentally and profitable food production systems;

  • ecological sustainability of farming systems;

  • innovations for improving efficiency and rationale use of natural resources;

  • technological options and new areas of research for Sustainable Crop Production Intensification;

  • Conservation Agriculture practices for Ecosystem ‘Functions’ and ‘Services’.

Prof. Dr. Michele Pisante
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


•  Sustainable agriculture research

•  Crop Production Intensification

•  Improving efficiency use of natural resource

•  Adapting to climate change

•  Soil-crop-nutrient-water-landscape management

•  Conservation Agriculture

•  Ecosystem Functions and Services.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Low-Input Maize-Based Cropping Systems Implementing IWM Match Conventional Maize Monoculture Productivity and Weed Control
Agriculture 2017, 7(9), 74; doi:10.3390/agriculture7090074
Received: 13 July 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Conventional Maize Monoculture (MM), a dominant Cropping System in South-Western France, is now questioned for environmental reasons (nitrate leaching, pesticide use and excessive irrigation). Three low-input Cropping Systems (CS) using diverse weeding strategies (MMLI, a Low-Input MM implementing ploughing, a combination
[...] Read more.
Conventional Maize Monoculture (MM), a dominant Cropping System in South-Western France, is now questioned for environmental reasons (nitrate leaching, pesticide use and excessive irrigation). Three low-input Cropping Systems (CS) using diverse weeding strategies (MMLI, a Low-Input MM implementing ploughing, a combination of on-row spraying and in-between row cultivation and cover crops; MMCT, Conservation Tillage MM implementing chemical control and cover crops; Maize-MSW, maize managed similar to MMLI but rotated with soybean & wheat) were compared to a reference system (MMConv, a conventional MM with tillage and a high quantity of inputs). Potential of Infestation of weeds (PI), weed biomass and crop production of these CS were compared during the first five years after their establishment. Yields were also assessed in weed-free zones hand-weeded weekly in 2014 and 2015. Weed communities did not drastically differ among CS. PI and weed biomass were higher in MMCT, especially for Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P.Beauv. and were comparable between MMConv, MMLI and Maize-MSW. Analysis of covariance between CS and weed biomass did not reveal a significant interaction, suggesting that weed biomass affected yield similarly among the CS. Comparison between weedy and weed-free zones suggested that weeds present at maize maturity negatively affected yields to the same extent for all four CS, despite having different weed biomasses. Grain yields in MMConv (11.3 ± 1.1 t ha−1) and MMLI (10.6 ± 2.3 t ha−1) were similar and higher than in MMCT (8.2 ± 1.9 t ha−1. Similar yields, weed biomasses and PI suggest that MMLI and Maize-MSW are interesting alternatives to conventional MM in terms of weed control and maize productivity and should be transferred to farmers to test their feasibility under wider, farm-scale conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Crop Production Intensification)

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