Special Issue "Agricultural Production and Global Climate Change: Social, Cultural, and Agroecological Aspects of the Agriculture/Climate Interface"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Brian Gareau
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sociology, McGuinn Hall 426, Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 - 3807, USA
Interests: environmental sociology; science; knowledge and technology; globalization; rural sociology/agrofood studies; global environmental governance
Dr. Tara Pisani Gareau
Website
Guest Editor
Earth & Environmental Sciences Department, Boston College 140 Commonwealth Ave. Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA
Interests: agroecology; sustainable food systems; conservation biological control; pollination services

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims to attract scholars in the social and natural sciences to provide an interdisciplinary arrangement of research on issues related to agricultural production and climate change. Global climate change is creating and/or exacerbating adverse conditions for agricultural producers and their communities; at the same time, many agricultural practices contribute globally to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. We are interested in reviewing case studies worldwide that investigate both these conditions as well as the ways in which agricultural communities (from the Global North to the Global South) are responding to these conditions, creating networks of resilience, finding alternative ways of growing, and engaging with scientific knowledge on global climatic change. Theoretical explorations are encouraged, but we ask that they contain a case study component. Works in rural sociology, agroecology, environmental sociology, environmental studies, anthropology, political ecology, human and political geography, and related fields are sought and encouraged.

Dr. Brian Gareau
Dr. Tara Pisani Gareau
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 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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 1800 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.

Published Papers (7 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
Changes in Climatic Water Availability and Crop Water Demand for Iraq Region
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3437; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083437 - 23 Apr 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Decreases in climatic water availability (CWA) and increases in crop water demand (CWD) in the background of climate change are a major concern in arid regions because of less water availability and higher irrigation requirements for crop production. Assessment of the spatiotemporal changes [...] Read more.
Decreases in climatic water availability (CWA) and increases in crop water demand (CWD) in the background of climate change are a major concern in arid regions because of less water availability and higher irrigation requirements for crop production. Assessment of the spatiotemporal changes in CWA and CWD is important for the adaptation of irrigated agriculture to climate change for such regions. The recent changes in CWA and CWD during growing seasons of major crops have been assessed for Iraq where rapid changes in climate have been noticed in recent decades. Gridded precipitation of the global precipitation climatology center (GPCC) and gridded temperature of the climate research unit (CRU) having a spatial resolution of 0.5°, were used for the estimation of CWA and CWD using simple water balance equations. The Mann–Kendall (MK) test and one of its modified versions which can consider long-term persistence in time series, were used to estimate trends in CWA for the period 1961–2013. In addition, the changes in CWD between early (1961–1990) and late (1984–2013) periods were evaluated using the Wilcoxon rank test. The results revealed a deficit in water in all the seasons in most of the country while a surplus in the northern highlands in all the seasons except summer was observed. A significant reduction in the annual amount of CWA at a rate of −1 to −13 mm/year was observed at 0.5 level of significance in most of Iraq except in the north. Decreasing trends in CWA in spring (−0.4 to −1.8 mm/year), summer (−5.0 to −11 mm/year) and autumn (0.3 to −0.6 mm/year), and almost no change in winter was observed. The CWA during the growing season of summer crop (millet and sorghum) was found to decrease significantly in most of Iraq except in the north. The comparison of CWD revealed an increase in agricultural water needs in the late period (1984–2013) compared to the early period (1961–1990) by 1.0–8.0, 1.0–14, 15–30, 14–27 and 0.0–10 mm for wheat, barley, millet, sorghum and potato, respectively. The highest increase in CWD was found in April, October, June, June and April for wheat, barley, millet, sorghum and potato, respectively. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Impacts of Economic, Demographic, and Weather Factors on the Exit of Beginning Farmers in the United States
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4280; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164280 - 08 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The success of efforts to promote sustainability and growth of Beginning Farmers and Ranchers (BFRs) depends on a set of diverse factors whose individual impacts on the BFR survival in or exit from farming need further clarification. This paper evaluates how a variety [...] Read more.
The success of efforts to promote sustainability and growth of Beginning Farmers and Ranchers (BFRs) depends on a set of diverse factors whose individual impacts on the BFR survival in or exit from farming need further clarification. This paper evaluates how a variety of economic and demographic factors, together with weather variability, affect BFRs’ exit from farming using farm-level data from the US Census of Agriculture for the period 1992–2012. The analysis uses insights from the literature on firm exit, recent research on young and beginning farmers, and the literature on climate impacts on agriculture since weather remains a key input to farming and its variability is a major source of risk to less experienced BFRs. The main finding is that flow variables such as profitability and off-farm employment do not affect BFR exit, while reliance on government payments increases the exit probability. Consistent with previous work, the size of operations matters, as BFRs with larger asset ownership, higher sales, and those in livestock production have lower probability of exit. Price variability that affects exit is largely attributable to weather variability, a finding which is consistent with that of previous work. The weather impacts on BFR exit are mostly attributable to droughts, but temperature also has a non-linear and highly seasonal impact. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Diagnosing Climate Adaptation Constraints in Rural Subsistence Farming Systems in Cameroon: Gender and Institutional Perspectives
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3767; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143767 - 10 Jul 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Climate adaptation efforts are recurrent in the science and policy spheres, especially in the context of the adaptation of community-driven, small-scale farming systems. One such is subsistence farming, which constitutes the backbone of most rural sub-Saharan African (SSA) economies, including Cameroon. Significant research [...] Read more.
Climate adaptation efforts are recurrent in the science and policy spheres, especially in the context of the adaptation of community-driven, small-scale farming systems. One such is subsistence farming, which constitutes the backbone of most rural sub-Saharan African (SSA) economies, including Cameroon. Significant research and policy efforts have been directed towards overcoming barriers to climate adaptation. Such efforts have tackled a range of socio-economic and exogenous institutional constraints. However, knowledge gaps exist in the climate adaptation literature, particularly with regards to the extent to which endogenous cultural institutions (customary rules) in SSA shape gender (in)equality in access to productive resources like land. Based on a representative survey of 87 female-headed households in rural Cameroon, we contribute to bridge this gap by determining endogenous cultural institutional constraints to rural women’s climate adaptation, specifically with regards to their access to land for subsistence farming. Results were obtained with logistic regression analysis and a chi-square test of independence, showing that: (i) an inverse relationship exists between discriminatory cultural practices and women farmers’ capacity to adapt to climate change, and that (ii) tenure insecurity and inequality amplifies farmer’s vulnerability to long- and short-term climatic change. While this paper contributes to existing theoretical frameworks on climate adaptation from an institutional perspective, it equally makes a succinct request for further studies to be undertaken to ground this theoretical assertion. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Climate Change and Dairy in New York and Wisconsin: Risk Perceptions, Vulnerability, and Adaptation among Farmers and Advisors
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3599; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133599 - 29 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Climate change impacts on agriculture have been intensifying in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States. Few empirical studies have considered how dairy farmers and/or their advisors are interpreting and responding to climate impacts, risks, and opportunities in these regions. This study investigates dairy [...] Read more.
Climate change impacts on agriculture have been intensifying in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States. Few empirical studies have considered how dairy farmers and/or their advisors are interpreting and responding to climate impacts, risks, and opportunities in these regions. This study investigates dairy farmer and advisor views and decisions related to climate change using data from seven farmer and advisor focus groups conducted in New York and Wisconsin. The study examined how farmers and advisors perceived climate impacts on dairy farms, the practices they are adopting, and how perceived risks and vulnerability affect farmers’ decision making related to adaptation strategies. Although dairy farmers articulated concern regarding climate impacts, other business pressures, such as profitability, market conditions, government regulations, and labor availability were often more critical issues that affected their decision making. Personal experience with extreme weather and seasonal changes affected decision making. The findings from this study provide improved understanding of farmers’ needs and priorities, which can help guide land-grant researchers, Extension, and policymakers in their efforts to develop and coordinate a comprehensive strategy to address climate change impacts on dairy in the Northeast and the Midwest US. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Quantifying Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Rice Yield Gaps in Double-Cropping Systems: A Case Study in Pearl River Delta, China
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1394; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051394 - 06 Mar 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Quantifying the contributing and limiting factors of yield potential is of vital importance, and the closure of existing yield gaps on currently available agricultural land is regarded as the most effective measure to meet future food demands. In this study, the CERES-Rice model [...] Read more.
Quantifying the contributing and limiting factors of yield potential is of vital importance, and the closure of existing yield gaps on currently available agricultural land is regarded as the most effective measure to meet future food demands. In this study, the CERES-Rice model and long-term rice yield records of 12 sites from 1981 to 2010 were combined together to investigate the spatial and temporal distributions of yield potential, yield attainable, yield actual, and yield gaps for double cropping rice in the Pearl River Delta (PRD), China. The evaluated yield potential of all the sites ranged from 7500 to 14,900 kg/ha, while yield attainable was from 6400 to 12,665 kg/ha, and yield actual was from 4000 to 7000 kg/ha. The yield gaps between yield potential and yield actual, yield potential and yield attainable, and yield attainable and yield actual were projected to be 3500 kg/ha, 1400 kg/ha, and 2100 kg/ha, respectively. The decrease of yield potential was due to the increasing temperature for early mature rice and the prolonged sunshine hours for the yield potential of late mature rice, respectively. The social–economic impacts of yield actual were also assessed, and adaptive measures were simulated so that the yield would certainly increase. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Spatially Differentiated Trends between Forest Pest-Induced Losses and Measures for Their Control in China
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010073 - 23 Dec 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Historically, China has exhibited spatial differentiation in issues ranging from population distribution to ecological or economic development; forest pest-control work exemplifies this tendency. In recent times, global warming, man-made monoculture tree-plantations, increasing human population density, and intensified international trade aggravate forest pest outbreaks. [...] Read more.
Historically, China has exhibited spatial differentiation in issues ranging from population distribution to ecological or economic development; forest pest-control work exemplifies this tendency. In recent times, global warming, man-made monoculture tree-plantations, increasing human population density, and intensified international trade aggravate forest pest outbreaks. Although the Chinese government has complied with internationally recommended practices, some aspects of pest management remain unaddressed due to existing differential regional imbalance in forest pest distribution and control capacities. Evidence shows that the high-income provinces in the south have taken advantage of economic and technological superiority, resulting in the adoption of more efficient pest-control measures. In contrast, the economically underdeveloped provinces of the northwest continue to experience a paucity of financial support that has led to serious threats of pest damage that almost mirror the demarcations of the Hu Huanyong Line. In this paper, we propose the introduction of a Public–Private–Partnership (PPP) model into forest pest control and the combination of the national strategies to enact regional prevention measures to break away from current spatially differentiated trends in China. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Is Super-Intensification the Solution to Shrimp Production and Export Sustainability?
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5277; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195277 - 25 Sep 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
The government of Vietnam has selected shrimp production and exports as the pillars of rural economic development. The targets set depend on high yields through production intensification. International and national public research communities have raised production intensification concerns related to environmental and climate [...] Read more.
The government of Vietnam has selected shrimp production and exports as the pillars of rural economic development. The targets set depend on high yields through production intensification. International and national public research communities have raised production intensification concerns related to environmental and climate change challenges, such as saltwater intrusion, water pollution, disease outbreaks, mangrove destruction, and natural resource degradation. Social snags such as user right conflicts of water resources, food safety problems, tariff barriers, and attempts to taint the industry’s image by competitors also plague the industry. These give rise to the problem of certification and questions about the influence of standards on the small-scale farming sustainability in a competitive global environment. The questions asked are, how can one bring together small-scale shrimp farmers to comply with international standards? Can small-scale shrimp farming co-exist with super-intensive producers to bring about a sustainable and competitive industry? A proposed model to horizontally organize the limited resource farmers into cooperatives to vertically integrate with large-scale firms producing shrimp using super-intensive production methods shows small-scale farmers adopting super-intensive production methods that can generate higher yields, income, profits, and is more environmentally friendly and requires less water and land. The capital requirements are high for limited resource farmers. However, with the interest showed by banks in financing models that are appropriate for small-scale farms integrated with larger firms engaged in super-intensive production systems, along with government assistance, these small-scale shrimp producing units can attain higher levels of sustainability than the open, less intensive production systems. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Climate Change and Dairy in New York and Wisconsin: Risk Perceptions, Vulnerability, and Adaptation among Farmers and Advisors 
Abstract: Climate change impacts on agriculture have been intensifying in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States. In order to encourage the adoption of climate change adaptation practices by dairy farmers, it is critical to understand their perspectives on the risks they face and actions they are taking. However, very few empirical studies have considered how dairy farmers and/or their advisors are interpreting and responding to climate impacts, risks, and opportunities in the Northeast and the Midwest. This study investigates dairy farmer and advisor views and decisions related to climate change using data from six farmer and advisor focus groups conducted in New York and Wisconsin. The study examined how farmers and advisors perceived climate impacts on dairy farms, the practices they are adopting, and how perceived risks and vulnerability affect farmers’ decision-making related to adaptation strategies. Although dairy farmers articulated concern regarding climate impacts, other business pressures—such as profitability, market conditions, government regulations, and labor availability—were often more critical issues that affected their decision-making. Decisions about adopting climate change adaptation practices were relatively consistent across advisors and farmers in both New York and Wisconsin, but with somewhat different emphases in each group. Personal experience with extreme weather and seasonal changes affected decision-making. The findings from this study provide improved understanding of farmers’ needs and priorities, which can help guide land-grant researchers, Extension, and policymakers in their efforts to develop and coordinate a comprehensive strategy to address climate change impacts on dairy in the Northeast and the Midwest. 
Keywords: dairy; farmers; advisors; climate change; perceptions; vulnerability; adaptation; resilience

Back to TopTop