Special Issue "Organic Agriculture at the Heart of Agroecological Transition"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Farming Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2021) | Viewed by 2238

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ambrogio Costanzo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Organic Research Centre, Trent Lodge, Stroud Road, Cirencester GL7 6JN, UK
Interests: agrobiodiversity; agroecology; organic agriculture; field crops research; participatory research
Dr. Isabelle Goldringer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Université Paris-Saclay, INRAE, Université Paris-Sud, CNRS, AgroParisTech, UMR GQE—Le Moulon, F-91190 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
Interests: participatory research; agrobiodiversity; dynamic management of crop diversity
Dr. Véronique Chable
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
INRAE–Agrocampus Ouest-ESA Angers, UMR 980 BAGAP, 65 rue de St. Brieuc, CS 84215, 35042 Rennes, France
Interests: agrobiodiversity; participatory research; multi-actor approach; organic agriculture; plant breeding

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Agroecological transition is increasingly recognized as an imperative transformation of production and food systems towards better sustainability. From an agronomic point of view, the agroecological transition can manifest itself in the three subsequent stages of increasing input efficiency, input substitution, and system redesign. Whilst mainstream agriculture is highly engaged in innovation focusing on input efficiency and input substitution, system redesign is often overlooked and relegated to a niche. We advocate that organic agriculture can be a privileged pioneering space for research and innovation in systems redesign.

The principles of health, ecology, fairness, and care are the roots from which organic agriculture grows and develops. As such, organic agriculture calls to revitalize agronomy aspects, such as soil and field management, nutrient cycling, plant protection, crop local adaptation, that are otherwise dealt with through external inputs. By promoting biodiversity and giving greater consideration to the interactions in space and time between all living organisms (from micro-organisms to humans) within agro-ecosystems, organic agriculture lays the foundation for more sustainable systems.

In this Special Issue, we will welcome original research and/or reviews that will highlight the contribution of organic agriculture to inform the redesign of cropping systems based on global/holistic and ecological understanding of agroecosystems and fairer relationships in supply chains and food systems. Contributions that adopt a system approach, thus, encompassing multiple aspects of crop production as contextualized in local agroclimatic and socio-economic contexts, and resulting from participatory research methods are especially relevant.

Dr. Ambrogio Costanzo
Dr. Isabelle Goldringer
Dr. Véronique Chable
Guest Editors

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Agronomy 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 2000 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.

Keywords

  • organic agriculture
  • agroecology
  • agroecological transition
  • cropping systems
  • plant breeding
  • agroecosystem
  • agrobiodiversity
  • crop diversification
  • participatory research
  • resilience

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Sensory Analyses and Nutritional Qualities of Wheat Population Varieties Developed by Participatory Breeding
Agronomy 2021, 11(11), 2117; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11112117 - 22 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 577
Abstract
Wheat is a staple food in many diets and is currently cultivated worldwide. It provides a large proportion of the daily energy intake and contributes to food balance. Changes in agro-industrial practices in the bread sector, from the field to bread-making, have led [...] Read more.
Wheat is a staple food in many diets and is currently cultivated worldwide. It provides a large proportion of the daily energy intake and contributes to food balance. Changes in agro-industrial practices in the bread sector, from the field to bread-making, have led to an increase in chronic diseases and nutritional deficits, emphasizing the link between food and health. Several levers could be used to improve the nutritional quality of bread wheat. Organic farming, by avoiding the use of pesticides, might allow for greater consumption of wholegrain products. Breeding wheat cultivars with an enhanced mineral content may serve as another lever. In this context, the on-farm participatory plant-breeding of highly diversified varieties could provide promising resources. This study investigated the sensory and nutritional quality of nine population varieties resulting from a ten-year participatory plant-breeding process compared to two commercial pure-line varieties. Analysis of variance showed genotype effects for Mg and Zn concentration, so breeding for a high Mg and Zn concentration can reasonably be envisaged. Moreover, a positive correlation was found between plant height, peduncle height (distance between the Last Leaf and Spike (LLSD)) and nutrient content. Finally, as population varieties express more differences in their profile when grown in less fertile soils, these results emphasize the benefits of genetic diversity for diverse nutritional intake and sensory properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Agriculture at the Heart of Agroecological Transition)
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Article
Soybean Development and Productivity in Response to Organic Management above the Northern Boundary of Soybean Distribution in Europe
Agronomy 2021, 11(2), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11020214 - 23 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 934
Abstract
Climate change, new varieties, better technological abilities, and increased demand for local resources provide significant reasons to introduce soybeans in northern regions, above the typical soybean distribution area in Europe. This research examined the effects of two delayed sowing times, wide 25 cm [...] Read more.
Climate change, new varieties, better technological abilities, and increased demand for local resources provide significant reasons to introduce soybeans in northern regions, above the typical soybean distribution area in Europe. This research examined the effects of two delayed sowing times, wide 25 cm and 50 cm row spacings, seed inoculation with Bradyrhizobium japonicum, and the interaction of all these factors on soybean development and productivity in an organic farming system. Length of soybean vegetation varied from 142 to 161 days at latitude 55° N. Yield varied from 673 to 3154 kg ha−1 in response to management factors. In the dry 2015 year, the combination of later sowing dates and wide 50-cm row spacing significantly (p < 0.01) increased the number of pods per plant by 28%, aboveground dry biomass by two times, and seed yield by 36% plant−1. In the wet 2016, yield components reached their highest values of 16.8 g dry biomass, 19.9 pods plant−1 and 7.9 g seeds plant−1 when inoculated soybeans were sown earlier, with 50-cm row spacings. Protein content significantly varied from 27.4 to 35.3%, and fat content 17.4–21.5%. This study suggests that regular soybean development could be maintained in organically managed locations above the present northern soybean distributional region, but its development, productivity, and production quality significantly depends on management practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Agriculture at the Heart of Agroecological Transition)
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