Special Issue "Smart Agriculture and Innovative Fertilizers for Sustainable Cropping Systems"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Domenico Ronga
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali - CRPA, Viale Timavo, 43/2, 42121 Reggio Emilia, Italy
Interests: low input system; organic agriculture; sustainability; crop production; composting; digestate; by-products; biostimulant; biofertilizer; abiotic stress; precision agriculture
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Roberto Ferrise
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of AGRIculture, Food, Environment and Forestry, University of Florence (DAGRI) Piazzale delle Cascine, 18 50144 Firenze, Italy
Interests: Agrometeorology; ecophysiology; crop modelling; climate change impact assessment; adaptation and mitigation strategies; precision agriculture; seasonal forecast; model assisted ideotyping
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Smart agricultural practices are required in order to increase food security for the growing global population. Agricultural production is often related to high inputs—especially in the form of synthetic fertilizers. Since the beginning of the green revolution, such practices have led to soil degradation and the release of environmental pollutants. From this perspective, in this Special Issue we will focus on innovative agricultural practices and fertilizers that are able to improve agricultural sustainability. We welcome studies concerning new approaches for smart agricultural techniques including studies on precision and digital agriculture and fertilizer development, as well as studies that explore the application of precision farming techniques to reduce external inputs or increase their effectiveness. We especially encourage authors which develop strategies or products able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to the mitigation of climate change and simultaneously increasing food security. Moreover, we would like to include contributions that focus on how to improve farmers’ income while preserving agricultural sustainability.

Dr. Domenico Ronga
Prof. Roberto Ferrise
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 1900 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

  • sustainability
  • low input
  • fertilizer
  • life cycle assessment
  • carbon sequestration
  • precision agriculture

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Pineapple Residue Ash Reduces Carbon Dioxide and Nitrous Oxide Emissions in Pineapple Cultivation on Tropical Peat Soils at Saratok, Malaysia
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1014; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031014 - 20 Jan 2021
Viewed by 719
Abstract
Burning pineapple residues on peat soils before pineapple replanting raises concerns on hazards of peat fires. A study was conducted to determine whether ash produced from pineapple residues could be used to minimize carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2 [...] Read more.
Burning pineapple residues on peat soils before pineapple replanting raises concerns on hazards of peat fires. A study was conducted to determine whether ash produced from pineapple residues could be used to minimize carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in cultivated tropical peatlands. The effects of pineapple residue ash fertilization on CO2 and N2O emissions from a peat soil grown with pineapple were determined using closed chamber method with the following treatments: (i) 25, 50, 70, and 100% of the suggested rate of pineapple residue ash + NPK fertilizer, (ii) NPK fertilizer, and (iii) peat soil only. Soils treated with pineapple residue ash (25%) decreased CO2 and N2O emissions relative to soils without ash due to adsorption of organic compounds, ammonium, and nitrate ions onto the charged surface of ash through hydrogen bonding. The ability of the ash to maintain higher soil pH during pineapple growth primarily contributed to low CO2 and N2O emissions. Co-application of pineapple residue ash and compound NPK fertilizer also improves soil ammonium and nitrate availability, and fruit quality of pineapples. Compound NPK fertilizers can be amended with pineapple residue ash to minimize CO2 and N2O emissions without reducing peat soil and pineapple productivity. Full article
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Article
Utilizing Anaerobic Digestates as Nutrient Solutions in Hydroponic Production Systems
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 10076; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122310076 - 02 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 593
Abstract
Moving food production into the urban and peri-urban areas is one way of facilitating a closed-loop approach, integrating waste handling with food production in order to recirculate nutrients and at the same time reduce the use of mined and fossil resources in the [...] Read more.
Moving food production into the urban and peri-urban areas is one way of facilitating a closed-loop approach, integrating waste handling with food production in order to recirculate nutrients and at the same time reduce the use of mined and fossil resources in the production. Using anaerobic digestion as a way of converting urban wastes to an energy source (methane) and a nutrient-rich biodigestate with subsequent use as fertilizer for food production seems like a feasible approach. However, utilizing urban wastes in plant production systems implies some challenges, such as high salinity of the waste, imbalanced composition of nutrients, and abundance of less favorable forms of nitrogen. In a series of experiments, these problems were addressed. Vegetables (Pak Choi) were cultivated hydroponically in a controlled climate. Experiments included increased salinity, elevated levels of nitrite, and different concentrations of the biogas digestate-based nutrient solution, with mineral based solutions as controls. In general, the mineral controls yielded around 50% higher fresh biomass than the organic solutions. However, the quality of the produce with respect to content of secondary metabolites such as vitamins was enhanced when the plants were cultivated with organic nutrient solutions. Increasing the concentration of NaCl to 241 mg Cl L−1 did not negatively affect plant performance. Increasing the concentration of nitrite negatively affected plant growth, with reductions in biomass production by up to 50%. Given this well-functioning nitrification process that did not result in high nitrite concentrations, the use of anaerobic digestates seems feasible for hydroponic production of vegetables. Full article
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