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Integrated farm management for sustainable agriculture: Lessons for knowledge exchange and policy


  • Rose, David C.
  • Sutherland, William J.
  • Barnes, Andrew P.
  • Borthwick, Fiona
  • Ffoulkes, Charles
  • Hall, Clare
  • Moorby, Jon M.
  • Nicholas-Davies, Phillipa
  • Twining, Susan
  • Dicks, Lynn V.


As a response to the environmentally and socially destructive practices of post-war mechanization and intensification, the concept of sustainable agriculture has become prominent in research, policy, and practice. Sustainable agriculture aims to balance the economic, environmental, and social aspects of farming, creating a resilient farming system in the long-term. Over the last few decades, various concepts have been used in research and policy to encourage the adoption of sustainable practices. Within such a congested space, this paper assesses the value of ‘integrated farm management’ as a concept for the promotion of sustainable agriculture. The concept is the subject of renewed policy interest in England and Wales and it is also being promoted in Europe. Previous research, however, has suggested that integrated farm management may not be well understood or widely practised. There are also criticisms that it can be impractical and poorly differentiated from similar ideas. As such, renewed insights are required into how useful the concept might be for encouraging sustainable agriculture. Using a mixed methods approach, we gathered the views of farmers, farm advisors, and industry representatives about integrated farm management in England and Wales, and interpreted these through a theoretical framework to judge the strength of the concept. Overall, the general principles of Integrated Farm Management were found to be coherent and familiar to most of our respondents. However, the concept performed poorly in terms of its resonance, simplicity of message, differentiation from other similar terms and theoretical utility. We reflect on our findings in the context of other ways to promote sustainable agriculture, drawing out messages for policy and knowledge exchange in England and Wales, as well as elsewhere.

Suggested Citation

  • Rose, David C. & Sutherland, William J. & Barnes, Andrew P. & Borthwick, Fiona & Ffoulkes, Charles & Hall, Clare & Moorby, Jon M. & Nicholas-Davies, Phillipa & Twining, Susan & Dicks, Lynn V., 2019. "Integrated farm management for sustainable agriculture: Lessons for knowledge exchange and policy," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 834-842.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:lauspo:v:81:y:2019:i:c:p:834-842
    DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2018.11.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rose, David C. & Sutherland, William J. & Parker, Caroline & Lobley, Matt & Winter, Michael & Morris, Carol & Twining, Susan & Ffoulkes, Charles & Amano, Tatsuya & Dicks, Lynn V., 2016. "Decision support tools for agriculture: Towards effective design and delivery," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 165-174.
    2. David Pimentel, 2006. "Soil Erosion: A Food and Environmental Threat," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 119-137, February.
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    5. Rose, David C. & Parker, Caroline & Fodery, Joe & Park, Caroline & Sutherland, William J. & Dicks, Lynn V., 2018. "Involving stakeholders in agricultural decision support systems: Improving user-centred design," International Journal of Agricultural Management, Institute of Agricultural Management, vol. 6(3-4), January.
    6. Julie Ingram, 2008. "Agronomist–farmer knowledge encounters: an analysis of knowledge exchange in the context of best management practices in England," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 25(3), pages 405-418, September.
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    2. Leonidas Sotirios Kyrgiakos & George Vlontzos & Panos M. Pardalos, 2021. "Ranking EU Agricultural Sectors under the Prism of Alternative Widths on Window DEA," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 14(4), pages 1-26, February.

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