Organic farming is based on the natural cycles of energy and matter, and relies on the use of crop rotations, compost, manure and green manure. The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) agrees to define the “Organic agriculture as a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects". In the same way, accelerating demand for agricultural production has already and will continue to have important influences on land-use decisions, as well as on the environmental quality and ecology of terrestrial ecosystems. Increasing interest in production of renewable energy by using crops, crop residuals, or purposely grown feedstocks may further intensify agricultural management and practices. Water is the other limiting resource for food production in the world. Water conservation and productivity can be improved using water footprint assessments, which take into account in situ and product-specific evaluations. Thus, understanding the impact of the management of agricultural systems or techniques on energy, water, nutrients and greenhouse gases (GHG) balances, could provide basis for sustainable and environment friendly choices.
This Scientific Session invites you to contribute with your experience on soil changes (biota, water, mineral and organic matter, erosion), and soil productivity under organic farming. Studies focused on optimal energy efficiency, water footprint, GHC and soil nutrient balancing as indicators of sustainable agricultural practices, and social-economic versus environmental impact balance, are also welcomed.
All these studies could provide robust scientific basis for governmental agricultural policies development and decision tools for stockholders.
The session will be organized with solicited speakers and abstracts.
Funding provided by INIA (Spanish National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology), CEIGRAM (Research Centre for the Management of Agricultural and Environmental Risks) and Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MICINN) through projects no. RTA2011-00104-C04-03, CGL2008-02879/BTE and AGL2010-21501/AGR, respectively, is greatly appreciated.