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Article

Assessing the Sustainability Performance of Organic and Low-Input Conventional Farms from Eastern Poland with the RISE Indicator System

1
Department of Systems and Economics of Crop Production, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, State Research Institute, Czartoryskich 8, 24-100 Puławy, Poland
2
School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences in Zollikofen, Bern University of Applied Sciences, Länggasse 85, CH-3052 Zollikofen, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1792; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061792
Received: 3 April 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 28 May 2018 / Published: 29 May 2018
The aim of this study was to examine the sustainability performance of organic and low-input conventional farms with the sustainability assessment tool—RISE 3.0. It is an indicator-based method for holistic assessment of sustainability of agricultural production at farm level. Ten organic and 10 conventional farms from eastern Poland, Lublin province were assessed. According to the thresholds levels of the RISE method, organic farms performed positively for 7 out of 10 themes, while the values of the other 3 topics, biodiversity, working conditions, and economic viability, were at medium level. Conventional farms reached positive scores for 9 out of 10 themes. The only middle-performing theme was biodiversity. None of the two farm types had the lowest, problematic scores for examined themes. For the theme biodiversity and two indicators (greenhouse gas balance and intensity of agricultural production), significant differences between farming systems were found. Biodiversity performance, an important indicator of sustainability, estimated with the RISE system, was highly correlated with measured on-field weed flora and Orthoptera biodiversity of farms. High soil acidity and low crop productivity, improper weed regulation, and energy management were the most common problems in both types of farms. Working hours and wage and income levels were also assessed as being low. Recommendations to improve the sustainability of both organic and conventional farms are presented. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability assessment; organic farms; conventional farms; biodiversity; RISE sustainability assessment; organic farms; conventional farms; biodiversity; RISE
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MDPI and ACS Style

Berbeć, A.K.; Feledyn-Szewczyk, B.; Thalmann, C.; Wyss, R.; Grenz, J.; Kopiński, J.; Stalenga, J.; Radzikowski, P. Assessing the Sustainability Performance of Organic and Low-Input Conventional Farms from Eastern Poland with the RISE Indicator System. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1792. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061792

AMA Style

Berbeć AK, Feledyn-Szewczyk B, Thalmann C, Wyss R, Grenz J, Kopiński J, Stalenga J, Radzikowski P. Assessing the Sustainability Performance of Organic and Low-Input Conventional Farms from Eastern Poland with the RISE Indicator System. Sustainability. 2018; 10(6):1792. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061792

Chicago/Turabian Style

Berbeć, Adam K., Beata Feledyn-Szewczyk, Christian Thalmann, Rebekka Wyss, Jan Grenz, Jerzy Kopiński, Jarosław Stalenga, and Paweł Radzikowski. 2018. "Assessing the Sustainability Performance of Organic and Low-Input Conventional Farms from Eastern Poland with the RISE Indicator System" Sustainability 10, no. 6: 1792. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061792

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