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Life cycle assessment of Swiss organic farming systems

Nemecek, T; Dubois, D; Huguenin-Elie, O and Gaillard, G (2006) Life cycle assessment of Swiss organic farming systems. In: Atkinson, C; Ball, B; Davies, D H K; Rees, R; Russell, G; Stockdale, E A; Watson, C A; Walker, R and Younie, D (Eds.) Aspects of Applied Biology 79, What will organic farming deliver? COR 2006, Association of Applied Biologists, pp. 15-18.

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Summary

The impacts of organic and integrated farming systems in Switzerland on the environment have been assessed in a comprehensive study by the life cycle assessment method. This paper reports a comparison of the treatments of the DOC experiment. Organic farming showed clear ecological advantages particularly for eco- and human toxicity, resource use and biodiversity. These ecological advantages only partly apply to nutrient losses and are not always found for single products. Per kg of organic product, higher impacts were often found for global warming potential, ozone formation, eutrophication and acidification compared to integrated production. In the same crop rotation with the same amount of organic fertilisers there were no systematic differences in soil quality of organic compared with integrated production. Further improvement of the environmental performance of organic farming should focus on achieving higher yields of good quality – especially in potatoes and cereals - by using inputs more efficiently and minimising nitrogen losses.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Life cycle assessment, farming system, organic farming, integrated production
Subjects: Values, standards and certification > Quality and evaluation of inputs
Farming Systems > Farm nutrient management
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Crop husbandry
Food systems > Recycling, balancing and resource management
Environmental aspects > Air and water emissions
Research affiliation: UK > Colloquium of Organic Researchers (COR) > COR 2006
Switzerland > Agroscope
Deposited By: MILLMAN, Mrs Carol A
ID Code:10157
Deposited On:13 Dec 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:34
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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