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The devil is the detail: finding meaning indicators of nutrient management on organic and low-input farms

Padel, Susanne; Gerrard, Catherine L; Leach, Katharine; Smith, Laurence G; Topp, C F E and Watson, Christine (2013) The devil is the detail: finding meaning indicators of nutrient management on organic and low-input farms. In: Aspects of Applied Biology , Association of Applied Biologists, Wellesborne, UK, 121, pp. 83-88.

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Summary

In low-input and organic systems, nutrient management is key to ensuring the short-term productivity and the longer-term sustainability of the farming system. Farm-gate nutrient budgets/balances calculate the inputs of nutrients to, and outputs from a system. Hence, they can be used to assess the nutrient use efficiency. Nutrient balances of 69 organic and low-input dairy farms in seven European countries were carried out using a sustainability assessment tool. The tool assesses each individual farm against a number of indicators. Part of the assessment of nutrient management is the calculation of an N,P,K budget, based on physical inputs and outputs for each enterprise. The results show considerable variation in the calculated N,P,K balances. The paper will explore the reasons for high nutrient surpluses and deficits and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of calculated farm-gate nutrient budgets.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Subjects: Environmental aspects
Farming Systems > Farm nutrient management
Research affiliation: European Union > SOLID
UK > Organic Research Centre (ORC) - Elm Farm
UK > Scottish Rural Colleges (SRUC - previously SAC)
FP7 Grant Agreement Number:266367
ISSN:0265-1491
Deposited By: Padel, Dr Susanne
ID Code:25556
Deposited On:02 Apr 2014 08:51
Last Modified:20 May 2015 20:38
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Additional Publishing Information:Accepted pre-print will be available in December 2014

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