Sustainability assessment of crop protection systems: SustainOS methodology and its application for apple orchards
Crop protection in general and apple crop protection in particular often rely on pesticides, although several alternative pest management measures are available. In this context European agricultural policy requires the implementation of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) by 2014. Within IPM, more than one strategy can be practiced but selecting the most sustainable strategy is difficult because it requires simultaneous assessment of multiple environmental and economic aspects or attributes. Here, we introduce the SustainOS methodology for sustainability assessment of orchard systems, and we evaluate its usefulness in a case study involving four crop protection strategies in apple orchards of five European regions. SustainOS is an iterative, multi-attribute approach for defining and rating the sustainability of crop protection strategies in comparative studies. It consists of a transparent system-description tool including context, target, and crop protection parameters. The parameters are used as input data for life cycle assessment, environmental risk assessment, and full-cost calculations. The various results from these quantitative assessments are used to generate a multi-attribute rating with respect to ecological and economic sustainability. We demonstrate how the quantitative results can be translated into rating classes. By applying the SustainOS methodology, we show that the ecological sustainability for all five regions can potentially be improved by implementing alternative crop protection measures currently available. We also report that, by increasing yield, yield stability, and fruit quality, implementation of IPM can improve the economic situation of apple growers. Because of its transparency, SustainOS facilitated the collaborative development and comparison of crop protection strategies for sustainable orchard systems by an international network of agronomists, economists, and environmental scientists.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mouron, Patrik & Scholz, Roland W. & Nemecek, Thomas & Weber, Olaf, 2006. "Life cycle management on Swiss fruit farms: Relating environmental and income indicators for apple-growing," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 561-578, June.
- Dogliotti, S. & Rossing, W. A. H. & van Ittersum, M. K., 2004. "Systematic design and evaluation of crop rotations enhancing soil conservation, soil fertility and farm income: a case study for vegetable farms in South Uruguay," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 277-302, June.
- Znidarsic, Martin & Bohanec, Marko & Zupan, Blaz, 2008. "Modelling impacts of cropping systems: Demands and solutions for DEX methodology," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 189(3), pages 594-608, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:113:y:2012:i:c:p:1-15. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.