Skip to main content

Sustainable Versus Organic Agriculture

Part of the Sustainable Agriculture Reviews book series (SARV,volume 3)

Abstract

Awareness and concern for problems related to environmental quality are growing at a steady pace: climate change, biodiversity, soil fertility decay and above all food quality and pollution are everyday subjects for debates and discussions. The complexity of the problems and the uncertainty about many basic data quite often make discussions inconclusive; even indications issued by scientific authorities are sometimes misleading, and the problems are exacerbated by the frequent influence of ideological positions. In an endeavour to contribute to clarify agriculture-related environmental issues, a review is made here of the principles of sustainable agriculture and of the ways to deal with them. The need is emphasized for a system approach which is able to reconcile economic-productive, environmental and social aspects, the three ‘pillars’ of sustainability, permitting to consider simultaneously the numerous factors concurring to determine the most appropriate production strategy, and the necessary flexibility in selecting and combining such factors is also outlined. A critical overview is made of the possible options for improving the sustainability of the four principal groups of agricultural operations: cultivation, fertilization, irrigation and pest control. For each of them, the sustainability level of various possible courses of action is estimated as resulting from their expected impact on the three ‘pillars’ of sustainability and indications are given to avoid risks deriving to agricultural sustainability from misconceptions of non-scientific approaches, including some typical of organic farming. For cultivation, the adoption of some form of conservation tillage is suggested and the various possible options are critically examined. The conclusions for fertilization are that generally the best solution is a blending of organic and mineral fertilizers and that food quality is not influenced by the origin of the fertilizer. Criteria for optimizing irrigation system design and management are illustrated, with reference to energy input, soil protection against erosion and salinity build-up, and reduction in production risks. For pest control, integrated pest management approaches including proactive activities and the parallel reduction to the possible extent of synthetic pesticide applications result in the most sustainable solution. Emphasis is given to those aspects of sustainability, such as soil and water conservation, energy savings, CO2 balance, which are often overlooked, yet are an important component of sustainability. It is argued that an effective, long-term sustainability of agriculture must primarily gain farmers acceptance and therefore selected solutions must guarantee profit levels and productivity while not increasing risks. It is concluded that since the concept of sustainability is fundamentally dynamic, site- and time-specific, proposed solutions are expected to be flexible, custom-tailored for the single farms and open to technological and scientific progress, avoiding any pre-concocted paradigm and dogmatism; as a consequence, it is evidenced that some rigid principles typical of organic farming are not compatible with sustainable agriculture.

Keywords

  • Cultivation
  • Fertilization
  • Indicators
  • Integrated pest management
  • Irrigation
  • Land conservation
  • Organic farming
  • Pest control
  • Sustainable agriculture

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-90-481-3333-8_3
  • Chapter length: 36 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   179.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-90-481-3333-8
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   229.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   279.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Abbreviations

ATTRA:

National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, USA

CTIC:

Conservation Technology Information Centre, USA

DRC:

Desert Research Center, Egypt

EISA:

European Initiative for Sustainable Development in Agriculture

FAO:

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

EIQ:

Environmental Impact Quotient

GJ:

GigaJoule

IFAD:

International Fund for Agricultural Development

IPM:

Integrated Pest Management

IRRI:

International Rice Research Institute

LD50:

Lethal Dose 50% (dose killing 50% of tested population)

MJ:

MegaJoule

SARE:

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Development, USDA

SAREP:

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Development Program, USDA

USDA:

United States Department of Agriculture

WHO:

World Health Organization

References

  • Abalu G, Hassan R (1999) Agricultural productivity and natural resource use in southern Africa. Food Policy 23:477–490

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Adeoye KB (1986) Physical changes induced by rainfall in the surface layer of an Alfisol, Northern Nigeria. Geoderma, 39:59–66

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Ali M (1999) Evaluation of green manure technology in tropical lowland rice systems. Field Crops Res 61:61–78

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Altieri M (2002) Lectures at the course on sustainable agriculture. Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, Italy

    Google Scholar 

  • Anderson RL (2007) Managing weeds with a dualistic approach of prevention and control. A review. Agron Sustain Dev 27:13–18

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • ATTRA-National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (2006) Weekly Harvest Newsletter, October 18, 2006

    Google Scholar 

  • Aulakh MS, Khera TS, Doran JW, Bronson KF (2001) Managing crop residue with green manure, urea, and tillage in a rice-wheat rotation. Soil Sci Soc Am J 65:820–827

    CAS  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Avery D (1999) WSVA Valley Farm Forum radio show, recorded July 28, 1999. http://www.ibiblio.org/farming-connection/ruralwri/features/asdebate.htm

  • Biermann S, Rathke G-W, Huelsbergen J, Diepenbrock W (1999) Energy recovery by crops in dependence on the input of mineral fertilizer – Final Report. Martin-Luther University, Halle, Wittenberg

    Google Scholar 

  • Bonde TA, RosswallT (1987) Seasonal variation of potentially mineralizable nitrogen in four cropping systems. SSSA J 51:1508–1514

    Google Scholar 

  • Bor YJ (1997) Some evidence of the existence of dynamic economic thresholds. Agric Sys 53:143–160

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Borlaug N (1995) Fertilizer use in Sub-Saharan Africa – keynote address to the roundtable of science advisors for science-led development in Africa. Maputu, Mozambique

    Google Scholar 

  • Bulluck III LR, Brosius M, Evanylo GK, Ristaino JB (2002) Organic and synthetic fertility amendments influence soil microbial, physical and chemical properties on organic and conventional farms. Appl Soil Ecol 19:147–160

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Cassman KG, De Datta SK, Amarante S, Liboon S, Dizon MA, Samson MI (1996) Long-term comparison of the agronomic efficiency and residual benefits of organic and inorganic nitrogen sources on tropical low rice. Exp Agric 32:427–444

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Cavalett O, Ferraz de Queiroz J, Ortega E (2006) Emergy assessment of integrated production systems of grains, pig and fish in small farms in the South Brazil. Ecol Model 193:205–224

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Chellemi DO (2000) Adaptation of approaches to pest control in low-input agriculture. Crop Prot 19:855–858

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Clark MS, Ferris H, Klonsky K, Lanini WT, van Bruggen AHC, Zalom FG (1998) Agronomic, economic and environmental comparison of pest management in conventional and alternative tomato and corn systems in northern California. Agric Ecosys Environ 68:51–71

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Clements DR, Weise SF, Brown R, Stonehouse DP, Hume DJ, Swanton CJ (1995) Energy analysis of tillage and herbicide inputs in alternative weed management systems. Agric Ecosys Environ 52:119–128

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • CLM, Centre for Agriculture and Environment (1996) Sustainability of energy crops in Europe. Utrecht, the Netherlands

    Google Scholar 

  • Colla G, Mitchell JP, Joyce BA, Huyck LM, Wallender WW, Temple SR, Hsiao TC, Poudel DD (2000) Soil physical properties and tomato yield and quality in alternative cropping systems. Agron J 92:924–932

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Cornelissen AMG, van den Berg J, Koops WJ, Udo HMJ (2001) Assessment of the contribution of sustainability indicators to sustainable development: a novel approach using fuzzy set theory. Agric Ecosys Environ 86:173–185

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • CTIC, Conservation Technology Information Center (1998). Available at http://www.ctic.purdue.edu

  • Diaz-Zorita M, Duarte G, Grove J (2002) A review of no-till systems and soil management for sustainable crop production in the subhumid and semiarid Pampas of Argentina. Soil Tillage Res 65:1–18

    Google Scholar 

  • Doran JW (2002) Soil health and global sustainability: translating science into practice. Agric Ecosys Environ 88:119–127

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Doran JW, Sarrantonio, M, Liebig MA (1996) Soil health and sustainability. In: Advances in agronomy. Springer, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Douglass GK (ed) (1984) Agricultural sustainability in a changing world order. Westview Press, Boulder, CO

    Google Scholar 

  • Dover M, Talbot LM (1987) To feed the earth:agro-ecology for sustainable development. World Resources Institute, Washington DC

    Google Scholar 

  • DRC, Desert Research Center of the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation of Egypt (2002) Book of abstracts of international symposium on optimum resources utilization in salt-affected ecosystems in arid and semi-arid regions. Cairo, Egypt, 8–11 April

    Google Scholar 

  • Dunham RJ (1979) Cultivation experiments with zero-tillage. In Proceedings of the appropriate tillage Workshop, IAR, Zaria, Nigeria

    Google Scholar 

  • Edwards-Jones G, Howells O (2001) The origin and hazards of inputs to crop protection in organic farming systems: are they sustainable? Agric Sys 67:31–47

    Google Scholar 

  • EISA, European Initiative for Sustainable Development in Agriculture (2000) A common codex for integrated farming. Available at http://www.sustainable-agriculture.org

  • EISA, European Initiative for Sustainable Development in Agriculture (2006) European integrated farming framework. Available at http://www.sustainable-agriculture.org

  • Ekins P, Simon S, Deutsch L, Folke C, De Groot R (2003) A framework for the practical application of the concepts of critical natural capital and strong sustainability. Ecol Econ 44:165–185

    Google Scholar 

  • Elliot SL, Mumford JD (2002) Organic, integrated and conventional apple production: why not consider the middle ground? Crop Prot 21:427–429

    Google Scholar 

  • European Commission (2000) Directorate-General for Agriculture Organic Farming-Guide to Community rules ISBN 92-894-0363-2

    Google Scholar 

  • European Commission (2007) Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 of 28 June 2007. Available at http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/qual/organic/index_en.htm

  • European Commission, Directorate-General for Agriculture (2002) Organic farming in the EU: facts and figures. Available at http://europa.eu.int/comm/agriculture/qual/organic/index_en.htm

  • Evers AM (1989a) Effects of different fertilization practices on growth, yield and dry matter content of carrot. J Agric Sci Finland 60:135–152

    Google Scholar 

  • Evers AM (1989b) Effects of different fertilization practices on the carotene content of carrot. J Agric Sci Finland 61:7–14

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Evers AM (1989c) Effects of different fertilization practices on the glucose, fructose, sucrose, taste and texture of carrot. J Agric Sci Finland 61:113–122

    Google Scholar 

  • Fairweather JR, Campbell H(1996) The decision making of organic and conventional producers. Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand, AERU Research Report n.233

    Google Scholar 

  • FAO/WHO (2001) Codex Alimentarius-organically produced foods. Rome, 2001

    Google Scholar 

  • Fenemore PG, Norton GA (1985) Problems of implementing improvements in pest control: a case study of apples in the UK. Crop Prot 4:51–70

    Google Scholar 

  • Fowler R, Rockstrom J (2001) Conservation tillage for sustainable agriculture – An agrarian revolution gathers momentum in Africa. Soil Tillage Res 61:93–107

    Google Scholar 

  • Gapper J (2006) Don’t hold back on your leafy greens. Financial Times, 18 December 2006 p 13

    Google Scholar 

  • Gomez AA, Swete Kelly DE, Seyers JK, Coughlan KJ (1996) Measuring sustainability of agricultural systems at the farm level. In Methods for assessing soil quality. Soil Science Society of America spec. publ. 49

    Google Scholar 

  • Gosling P, Shepherd M (2005) Long-term changes in soil fertility in organic arable farming systems in England, with particular reference to phosphorus and potassium. Agric Ecosys Environ 105:425–432

    Google Scholar 

  • Gurr GM, van Emden HM, Wratten SD (1998) Habitat manipulation and natural enemy efficiency: implications for the control of pests. In: Conservation biological control. Academic, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Haas D (2006) Australian organic standards 2006, Biological Farmers of Australia

    Google Scholar 

  • Haines CP (2000) IPM for food storage in developing countries: 20th century aspirations for the 21st century. Crop Prot 19:825–830

    Google Scholar 

  • Halvorson AD, Wienhold BJ, Black AL (2002) Tillage, nitrogen, and cropping effects on soil carbon sequestration. Soil Sci Am J 66:906–912

    CAS  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Hamdy A (1999) Saline irrigation assessment and management for a sustainable Use. In: Proceedings of the special session on non-conventional water resources – practices and management. EU, DG I and CIHEAM-IAM.B, Rabat, Morocco

    Google Scholar 

  • Hamdy A, Karajeh F (2001) Treated wastewater as an additional source: challenges and perspectives. Proceedings of the advanced short course on water saving and increasing water productivity: challenges and options. CIHEAM-IAMB, Amman, Jordan, 10–23 March 2001

    Google Scholar 

  • Hansen JW (1996) Is agricultural sustainability a useful concept? Agric Sys 50:117–143

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Hau JL, Bakshi BR (2008) Promise and problems of emergy analysis. Available at www.che.eng.ohio-state.edu

  • Hernanz JL, Lopez R, Navarrete L, Sanchez-Giron V (2002) Long-term effects of tillage systems and rotations on soil structural stability and organic carbon stratification in semiarid central Spain. Soil Tillage Res 66:129–141

    Google Scholar 

  • Hoag DL, Skold MD (1996) The relationship between conservation and sustainability. J Soil Water Conserv July–August:292–295

    Google Scholar 

  • Hodge I (1993) Sustainability: putting principles into practice. An application to agricultural systems. Paper presented to ‘Rural Economy and Society Study Group’, Royal Holloway College

    Google Scholar 

  • Huang D, Teng WJ, Wu JY, Sardo VI (2008) Reducing overland flow by means of grass hedges – experimental results in Northern China.In: Proceedings of the ASABE conference 21st century watershed technology: improving water quality and environment, concepcion, Chile, 29 March–3 April 2008

    Google Scholar 

  • Hülsbergen K-J, Feil B, BiermannS, Rathke G-W, Kalk W-D, Diepenbrock W (2001) A method of energy balancing in crop production in a long-term fertilizer trial. Agric Ecosys Environ 86:303–321

    Google Scholar 

  • Hülsbergen K-J, Feil B, Diepenbrock W (2002) Rates of nitrogen application required to achieve maximum energy efficiency for various crops: results of a long-term experiment. Field Crops Res 77:61–76

    Google Scholar 

  • HydroAgri (1998) Specialnummer: Mineralgödselmedel och vår miljö. Växtpressen 27:14–15

    Google Scholar 

  • IFAD (2005) Organic agriculture and poverty reduction in Asia: China and India focus. report n. 1664, July 2005

    Google Scholar 

  • Ikerd J (1996) Sustainable agriculture: a positive alternative to industrial agriculture. Available at http://www.ssu.missouri.edu/faculty/Jikerd

  • Ikerd J (2001a) Farming for profit and quality of life. Available at http://www.ssu.missouri.edu/faculty/Jikerd

  • Ikerd J (2001b) Sustainable agriculture: it’s about people. Available at http://www.ssu.missouri.edu/faculty/Jikerd

  • Ikerd J (2008) Family farms in an era of global uncertainty. Prepared for presentation at the 2008 Shivvers Lecture, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 24 February 2008. Available at http://www.leopold.iastate.edu

  • INCO-DC, International Cooperation with Developing Countries of the European Union (2001) Sustainable halophyte utilization in the mediterranean and subtropical dry regions. Final Report

    Google Scholar 

  • Jeger MJ (2000) Bottlenecks in IPM. Crop Prot 19:787–792

    Google Scholar 

  • Kang WS (2001) Development of a flame weeder. Trans ASAE 44:1065–1070

    Google Scholar 

  • Khasawneh FE, Doll EC (1978) The use of phosphate rock for direct application to soils. Adv Agron 30:159–203

    Google Scholar 

  • Kirchmann H, Thorvaldson G (2000) Challenging targets for future agriculture. Eur J Agron 12:145–161

    Google Scholar 

  • Kovach J, Petzoldt C, Degni J, Tette J (1992) A method to measure the environmental impact of pesticides. New York Food Life Sci Bull 192:2–8

    Google Scholar 

  • Kropff MJ, Bouma J, Jones JW (2001) System approaches for the design of sustainable agro-ecosystems. Agric Sys 70:369–393

    Google Scholar 

  • Kuntz-Duriseti K (2004) Evaluating the economic value of the precautionary principle: using cost benefit analysis to place a value on precaution. Environ Sci Policy 7:291–301

    Google Scholar 

  • Lal R, Follett RF, Kimble J, Cole CV (1999) Managing US cropland to sequester carbon in soil. J Soil Water Conserv first quart 1999:374–381

    Google Scholar 

  • Lampertico D (1899) Siderazione. Tipografia e Litografia C. Cassone publisher, Italy

    Google Scholar 

  • Larson JA, Roberts RK, Tyler, DD, Duck BN, Slinsky SP (1998) Stochastic dominance analysis of winter cover crop and nitrogen fertilizer systems for no-tillage corn. J Soil Water Conserv 53:285288

    Google Scholar 

  • Lewis WJ, van Lenteren JC, Phatak SC, Tumlison JH III (1997) A total system approach to sustainable pest management. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 94:12243–12248

    CAS  CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Lomborg B (2001) The skeptical environmentalist. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • MacCormack H (1995) Sustainable agriculture versus organic farming. In: Bird B, Gardner (eds) What is sustainable agriculture? Iowa State University Press, Ames, IA

    Google Scholar 

  • May RH (1975) Stability in ecosystems: some comments. In: van Dooben, Lowe-McConnell (eds) Unifying concepts in ecology. W. Junk, the Hague

    Google Scholar 

  • Myers RJK, van Noordwijk M, Vityakon P (1997): Synchrony of nutrient release and plant demand: plant litter quality, soil environment and farmer management options, Driven by nature – plant litter quality and decomposition. CABI, Wallingford, UK

    Google Scholar 

  • Noell C (2002) Strategies for sustainability in agriculture from an economic point of view. English summary of Vol 5/2002 of the Institute for Agriculture and Environment series (in German)

    Google Scholar 

  • Pang XP, Letey J (2000): Challenge of timing nitrogen availability to crop nitrogen requirements. Soil Sci Soc Am J 64:247–253

    Google Scholar 

  • Parrot N, Marsden T (2002) The Real Green Revolution, Greenpeace Environmental Trust, ISBN 1903907020

    Google Scholar 

  • Parsons JE, Gilliam JW, Dillaha TA, Muñoz-Carpena R (1995) Sediment and nutrient removal with vegetated and riparian buffers. Clean Water-Clean Environment-21st Century Conference Proceedings Kansas City, Missouri, 5–8 March 1995; ASAE publishing 2-95

    Google Scholar 

  • Peet M (2001) Sustainable practices for vegetable production in the south. Focus publisher. Available at http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/sustainable/peet/index.html

  • Penning de Vries FWT, van Keulen H, Rabbinge R (1995) Natural resources and limits to food production in 2040. In: Eco-regional approaches for sustainable land use and food production, Proceedings of a symposium on eco-regional approaches in agricultural research. Kluwer, The Hague

    Google Scholar 

  • Pimentel D (ed) (1980) Handbook of energy utilization in agriculture. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida

    Google Scholar 

  • Pimentel D (1995) Amounts of pesticides reaching target pests: environmental impacts and ethics. J Agric Env Ethics 8:17–29

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Pimentel D, Mclaughlin L, Zepp A, Lakitan B, Kraus T, Kleinman P, Vancini F, Roach WJ, Graap E, Keaton WS, Selig G (1993) Environmental and economic impacts of reducing US agricultural pesticide use. In: Pimentel, Lehman (eds) The pesticide question: environment, economics, and ethics. Chapman and Hall, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Power JF, Wiese R, Flowerday D (2001) Managing farming systems for nitrate control. J Env Quality 30:1866–1880

    Google Scholar 

  • Prato T (2007) Assessing ecosystem sustainability and management using fuzzy logic. Ecol Econ 61:171–177

    Google Scholar 

  • Precision Agriculture Centre, University of Minnesota (2002) Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Precision Agriculture, Minneapolis, 14–17 July 2002

    Google Scholar 

  • PréConsultants (2004) SimaPro database manual. The BUWAL250 library. Available at http://www.pre.nl/simapro/

  • Pretty JN, Brett C, Gee D, Hine RE, Mason CF, Morison JIL, Raven H, Rayment MD, van der Bijl G (2000) An assessment of the total external costs of UK agriculture. Agric Sys 65:113–136

    Google Scholar 

  • Rajan SSS, O’Connor MB, Sinclair AG (1994) Partially acidulated phosphate rocks: controlled release phosphorus fertilizers for more sustainable agriculture. Fert Res 37:69–78

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Rajan SSS, Watkinson JH, Sinclair AG (1996) Phosphate rocks for direct application to soils. In: Advances in agronomy, vol 57. Academic, San Diego

    Google Scholar 

  • Rasul G, Thapa GB (2004) Sustainability of ecological and conventional agricultural systems in Bangladesh: an assessment based on environmental, economic and social perspectives. Agric Sys 79:327–351

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Reardon T (1995) Sustainability issues for agricultural research strategies in the semi-arid tropics: focus on the Sahel. Agric Sys 48:345–359

    Google Scholar 

  • Refsgaard K, Halberg N, Kristense ES (1998) Energy utilization in crop and dairy production in organic and conventional livestock production systems. Agric Sys 57:599–630

    Google Scholar 

  • Rigby D, Càceres D (2001) Organic farming and the sustainability of agricultural systems. Agric Sys 68:21–40

    Google Scholar 

  • Riley J (2001a) The indicator explosion: local needs and international challenges. Agric Ecosys Environ 87:119–120

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Riley J (2001b) Indicator quality for assessment of impact of multidisciplinary systems. Agric Ecosys Environ 87:121–128

    Google Scholar 

  • Rizzo N, Sardo V, Vella P, Zimbone SM (1994) Investigations on hillslope erosion by means of simulated rainfall. Proceedings of the international symposium on forest hydrology. Tokyo, Japan, Oct 1994

    Google Scholar 

  • Russo M, Iacona R, Verde E, Belligno A, Sardo VI (2008): Response of soil, water and plants to fertilization with mineral and organic nitrogen fertilizers. Proceedings of the ASABE conference 21st century watershed technology: improving water quality and environment, concepcion, Chile, 29 March–3 April 2008

    Google Scholar 

  • Sands GR, Podmore TH (2000) A generalized environmental sustainability index for agricultural systems. Agric Ecosys Environ 79:29–41

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Sardo V (1982) Energy economics and the choice of irrigation method (Italian text with English summary). L’Irrigazione, XXIX, n.1

    Google Scholar 

  • SARE, The sustainable agriculture research and education program. Website http://www.sare.org

  • SAREP, University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (1997) What is sustainable agriculture? Available at website http://www.sarep.ucdavis.edu/concept.htm

  • Schultz JJ (1992) An examination of the environmental issues facing the phosphate fertilizer production sector – indicated cost of environmental compliance. In: Schultz JJ (ed) Phosphate fertilizers and the environment

    Google Scholar 

  • Scofield A (1986) Organic farming – the origin of the name. Biol Agric Hort 4:1–5

    Google Scholar 

  • Shapiro BI, Sanders JH (1997) Fertilizer use in semiarid West Africa: profitability and supporting policy. Agric Sys 56:467–482

    Google Scholar 

  • Sieling K, Kage H (2006) N balance as an indicator of N leaching in an oilseed rape-winter wheat-winter barley rotation. Agric Ecosys Environ 115:261–269

    CAS  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Smith OH, Petersen GW, Needelman BA (2000) Environmental indicators of agroecosystems. In: Advances in Agronomy. Academic, San Diego, CA

    Google Scholar 

  • Smyth AJ, Dumanski J (1993) FESLM: an international framework for evaluating sustainable land management. World Soil Resources Report No. 73, FAO, Rome

    Google Scholar 

  • Snapp SS, Mafongoya PL, Waddington S (1998) Organic matter technologies for integrated nutrient management in smallholder cropping systems of southern Africa. Agric Ecosys Environ 71:185–200

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Soil Association (2002) The soil association. Available http://www.soilassociation.org

  • Solomon K, Giesy J, Jones P (2000) Probabilistic risk assessment of agrochemicals in the environment. Crop Prot 19:649–655

    Google Scholar 

  • Spedding CRW, Walsingham JM, Hoxey AM (1981) Biological efficiency in agriculture. Academic, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Stamatiadis S, Werner M, Buchanan M (1999) Field assessment of soil quality as affected by compost and fertilizer application in a broccoli field (San Benito County, California). Appl Soil Ecol 12:217–225

    Google Scholar 

  • Stinner BR, House GJ (1989) The search for sustainable agroecosystems. J Soil Water Conserv 44:111–116

    Google Scholar 

  • Sulser TB, Duryea ML, Frolich LM, Guevara-Guaspud E (2001) A field practical approach for assessing biophysical sustainability of alternative agricultural systems. Agric Sys 68:113–135

    Google Scholar 

  • Swanton CJ, Murphy SD, Hume DJ, Clements DR (1996) Recent improvements in the energy efficiency of agriculture: case studies from Ontario Canada. Agric Sys 52:339–418

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Taylor AW, Spencer WF (1990) Volatilisation and vapor transport processes. In: Pesticides in the soil environment. Soil Science Society of America Book Series n. 2

    Google Scholar 

  • Tebrügge F, Düring R-A (1999) Reducing tillage intensity – a review of results from a long-term study in Germany. Soil Tillage Res 53:15–28

    Google Scholar 

  • Thompson PB (1992) The varieties of sustainability. Agric Hum Values 9(3):189–207

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Tilman D, Cassman KG, Matson PA, Naylor R, Polasky S (2002) Agricultural sustainability and intensive production practices. Nature 418:671–677

    Google Scholar 

  • Tisdell C (1996) Economic indicators to assess the sustainability of conservation farming projects: an evaluation. Agric Ecosys Environ 57:117–131

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Tomassi G, Gennaro L (2002): Caratteristiche nutrizionali dei prodotti biologici, Agricoltura Biologica, vol 7. Publisher Accademia Nazionale di Agricoltura, Italy, pp 189–223

    Google Scholar 

  • Turner RK (1993) Sustainability: principles and practice. In: Turner RK (ed) Sustainable environmental economics: principles and practice. Belhaven, New York/London, pp 3–16

    Google Scholar 

  • Tzilivakis J, Warner DJ, May M, Lewis KA, Jaggard K (2005) An assessment of the energy inputs and greenhouse gas emissions in sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) production in the UK. Agric Sys 85:101–119

    Google Scholar 

  • Uhlin H-E (1999a) Energy productivity of technological agriculture – lessons from the transition of Swedish agriculture. Agric Ecosys Environ 73:63–81

    Google Scholar 

  • Uhlin H-E (1999b) Why energy productivity is increasing: an I-O analysis of Swedish agriculture. Agric Sys 56:443–465

    Google Scholar 

  • Uri ND (1998) Conservation tillage and the use of energy and other inputs in US agriculture. Energy Econ 20:389–410

    Google Scholar 

  • USDA (2007) The national organic program standards. Available at http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/NOP/standards.html

  • van Lenteren JC (2000) A greenhouse without pesticides: fact or fantasy? Crop Prot 19:375–384

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Ventura W, Watanabe L (1993) Green manure production of azolla and sesbania and other long-term effects on rice yield and soil fertility. Biofert Sci 15:241–248

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Verhagen A, Booltink HWG, Bouma J (1995) Site-specific management: balancing production and environmental requirements at farm level. Agric Sys 49:369–384

    Google Scholar 

  • Victor TJ, Reuben R (2000) Effects of organic and inorganic fertilisers on mosquito populations in rice fields of southern India. J Cell Biol online 14(4):361–368

    Google Scholar 

  • Vought LB-M, Pinay G, Fuglsang A, Ruffinoni C (1995) Structure and function of buffer strips from a water quality perspective in agricultural landscapes. Landscape Urban Plann 31:323–331

    Google Scholar 

  • Walker JTS, Hodson AJ, Wearing CH, Bradley SJ, Shaw PW, Tomkins AR, Burnip GM, Stiefel HE, Batchelor TA (1997) Integrated fruit protection for New Zealand pipfruit: evaluation of pest management in a pilot programme. Proceedings of the 50th New Zealand Plant Protection Conference

    Google Scholar 

  • Wallender WW (2007) Scales, scaling and sustainability of irrigated agriculture. Trans ASABE 50(5):1733–1738

    Google Scholar 

  • Way MJ, van Emden HF (2000) Integrated pest management in practice – pathways towards successful application. Crop Prot 19:81–103

    Google Scholar 

  • Wijnands FG (1997) Integrated crop protection and environment exposure to pesticides: methods to reduce use and impact of pesticides in arable farming. Eur J Agron 7:251–260

    Google Scholar 

  • Williams CM (2002) Nutritional quality of organic food: shades of grey or shades of green? Am J Pathol 61(1):19–24

    Google Scholar 

  • Wilson RT (2003) The environmental ecology of oxen used for draught power. Agric Ecosys Environ 97:21–37

    Google Scholar 

  • Witter E, Kirchmann H (1989a) Peat, zeolit and basalt as adsorbents of ammoniacal manure nitrogen. Plant Soil 115:43–52

    Google Scholar 

  • Witter E, Kirchmann H (1989b) Effect of Ca and Mg additions to manure on ammonia volatilisation during manure decomposition. Plant Soil 115:53–58

    Google Scholar 

  • Yadvinder-Singh, Bijay-Singh, Khind CS (1992) Nutrient transformation in soils amended with green manures. Advances in soil sciences. Springer, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Yeates JS, Clarke MF (1993) Developing alternatives to phosphate fertilizers of high water solubility. Fert Res 36:141–150

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Zandstra H (1994) Sustainability and productivity growth: issues, objectives and knowledge needs – guidelines for working groups.In: Reconciling sustainability with productivity growth. Report of a workshop, University of Florida and Cornell University, Gainesville, Fla, May 1993

    Google Scholar 

  • Zilberman D, Schmitz A, Casterline G, Lichtenberg E, Siebert JB (1991) The economics of pesticide use and regulation. Science 253:518–522

    Google Scholar 

  • Zilberman D, Templeton SR, Khanna M (1999) Agriculture and the environment: an economic perspective with implications for nutrition. Food Policy 24:211–229

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Vito Sardo .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Wu, J., Sardo, V. (2010). Sustainable Versus Organic Agriculture. In: Lichtfouse, E. (eds) Sociology, Organic Farming, Climate Change and Soil Science. Sustainable Agriculture Reviews, vol 3. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-3333-8_3

Download citation