Special Issue "Sustainable Farming Practices"
A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2016).
Interests: remote sensing techniques for mapping soils; causes and impacts of soil erosion and runoff
Land degradation is a worldwide problem, but how the land is degraded is often not specifically defined, is it by forest clearance destabilising slopes, or by overgrazing or cultivation of the land that leads to erosion and soil compaction, or is it loss of soil fertility because nutrients removed by the crop are not replaced? It is likely that rates of soil erosion are overstated as they are based on plot-based predictive equations, such as the Universal Soil Loss Equation, not field assessments, or on sediment loads in rivers when sediment may be derived not only from runoff from the land but also from river channel erosion and flow of mass movements into the river channel. Declining crop productivity may be due to declining soil fertility rather than erosion.
Sustainable farming practices should aim at (1) increasing the soil’s fertility and improving its structure, (2) reducing erosion by water and wind and (3) giving the farmer a good livelihood. There are many practices to limit soil erosion and to increase the soil’s fertility but rarely it seems are those practices carried out extensively, or if they are, for example conservation tillage, can lead to pollution of water courses. Often, such practices are not economically viable and thus do not give a farmer a good livelihood.
Papers are sought which outline: (1) how soil degradation, especially of cultivated soils in both highly and less highly mechanised agricultural landscapes, was assessed and remedied. Were these remedial practices viable economically? In arable landscapes, did they lead to pollution of water courses by nutrients or pesticides? (2) How more sustainable farming practices can be widely brought about whilst at the same time achieving better livelihoods for farmers and their families, so helping to retain viable countryside populations and stopping migration to towns and cities?
Manuscript Submission Information
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- soil and water conservation
- soil erosion
- water balance
- watershed hydrology
- sustainable agriculture
- land degradation
- sustainable soil management practices