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Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 2023; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10062023

A Sustainable Agricultural Future Relies on the Transition to Organic Agroecological Pest Management

1
Section of Plant Breeding and Genetics, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
2
David R. Atkinson Center for Sustainable Future, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 April 2018 / Revised: 10 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 15 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agriculture: The State of the Great Debates)
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Abstract

The need to improve agricultural sustainability to secure yields, minimize environmental impacts and buffer environmental change is widely recognized. Investment in conventional agriculture has supported its present yield advantage. However, organic agriculture with agroecological management has nascent capacity for sustainable production and for increasing yields in the future. Conventional systems have leveraged reductionist approaches to address pests, primarily through pesticides that seek to eliminate biological factors that reduce yield, but come at a cost to human and ecosystem health, and leave production systems vulnerable to the development of pest resistance to these chemicals or traits. Alternatives are needed, and are found in organic production approaches. Although both organic and agroecology approaches encompass more than pest management, this aspect is a pivotal element of our agricultural future. Through increased investment and application of emerging analytical approaches to improve plant breeding for and management of these systems, yields and resilience will surpass approaches that address components alone. View Full-Text
Keywords: organic agriculture; agroecology; pest management; plant breeding; biodiversity; sustainability; host plant resistance; pesticides organic agriculture; agroecology; pest management; plant breeding; biodiversity; sustainability; host plant resistance; pesticides
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Brzozowski, L.; Mazourek, M. A Sustainable Agricultural Future Relies on the Transition to Organic Agroecological Pest Management. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2023.

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