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National-scale modelling of N leaching in organic and conventional horticultural crop rotations - policy implications

Schmutz, Dr Ulrich; Rayns, Dr Francis; Firth, Mr Chris; Nendel, Dr Claas; Lillywhite, Mr Rob; Zhang, Dr Kefeng and Rahn, Dr Clive (2008) National-scale modelling of N leaching in organic and conventional horticultural crop rotations - policy implications. Poster at: Cultivating the Future Based on Science: 2nd Conference of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research ISOFAR, Modena, Italy, June 18-20, 2008.

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Summary

A method is presented to model N leaching in crop rotations on a national scale. Representative crop rotations for different regions and soil types are used in the cross-disciplinary, plant, soil, environment & economics model EU-Rotate_N. By comparing contrasting farming systems (organic and conventional) in the UK, their strengths and weaknesses in delivering environmental and economic sustainability can be assessed. Modelling results show that the annual leaching in different horticultural rotations and UK regions, using median weather, is within the range of 13-88 kg N/ha/year for organic and 54-130 kg N /ha/year for conventional. The weighted annual average figures are 39 kg N/ha/year for organic and 81 kg N/ha/year for conventional, respectively. It is concluded that organic horticultural rotations, with a current share of 6.1% already contribute to lower overall N losses from agriculture. However, on a UK national scale, only a large share of organic land use (e.g. >50%) has a large effect on reducing N losses. Similar reductions are also predicted by substantial cuts in conventional N inputs, giving a policy choice if pollution from agriculture steps up further on the political agenda.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Poster
Keywords:Nitrogen leaching, modelling, crop rotations, vegetables, water framework directive
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems > Pasture and forage crops
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Cereals, pulses and oilseeds
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Vegetables
"Organics" in general > Country reports > United Kingdom
Environmental aspects > Air and water emissions
Farming Systems > Farm economics
Environmental aspects
Farming Systems > Farm nutrient management
Research affiliation: International Conferences > 2008: IFOAM OWC: Research Track / ISOFAR > 1.1 Interactions Production - Environment
Deposited By: Schmutz, Dr Ulrich
ID Code:11737
Deposited On:02 Oct 2008
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:35
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Additional Publishing Information:This paper is published in the conference proceedings:
Neuhoff, Daniel; Halberg, Niels; Alfldi, Thomas; Lockeretz, William; Thommen, Andreas; Rasmussen, Ilse A.; Hermansen, John; Vaarst, Mette; Lck, Lorna; Carporali, Fabio; Jensen, Henning Hgh; Migliorini, Paola and Willer, Helga, Eds. (2008) .Cultivating the Future Based on Science. Proceedings of the Second Scientific Conference of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR), held at the 16th IFOAM Organic World Congress in Cooperation with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and the Consorzio ModenaBio, 18 . 20 June 2008 in Modena, Italy.. International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR), c/o IOL, DE-Bonn, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, CH-Frick. http://orgprints.org/13672 and http://orgprints.org/13674

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