Cultivar mixtures increase crop yields and temporal yield stability globally. A meta-analysis

https://doi.org/10.1007/s13593-024-00964-6

Mixing crop cultivars may reduce plant diseases and increase resource-use efficiency and yield, yet evidence from individual studies remains inconclusive. We synthesized these studies in a global meta-analysis. Our results confirm that cultivar mixtures across 12 crop species and large climatic gradients reduce losses due to disease and enhance resource use compared with monocultures, thereby increasing average yield and yield stability. The targeted use of cultivar mixtures with appropriate management practices can increase agricultural sustainability by reducing inputs while maintaining high yields.

Huang, T., Döring, T.F., Zhao, X. et al. Cultivar mixtures increase crop yields and temporal yield stability globally. A meta-analysis. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 44, 28 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13593-024-00964-6

Case study analysis of innovative producers toward sustainable integrated crop-livestock systems: trajectory, achievements and thought process

This study explores the perceptions of Integrated Crop-Livestock Systems (ICLS) producers. Despite challenges, these producers have perceived benefits in their farming systems and livelihoods from managing ICLS. The research underscores the need for systemic initiatives and knowledge exchange to facilitate the complex management of ICLS. This study can inspire and encourage producers to embark on the ICLS journey.

Moojen, F.G., Ryschawy, J., Wulfhorst, J.D. et al. Case study analysis of innovative producers toward sustainable integrated crop-livestock systems: trajectory, achievements, and thought process. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 44, 26 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13593-024-00953-9

Challenges and opportunities for increasing the use of low-risk plant protection products in sustainable production. A review

There is an urgent need for plant production systems to use more sustainable plant protection solutions with less conventional pesticides. While low-risk plant protection products are promising alternatives, the availability of these products remains low on the European market. Here, we summarize challenges and opportunities for increasing these products and define knowledge gaps related to their efficiency, application, and economics.

Lankinen, Å., Witzell, J., Aleklett, K. et al. Challenges and opportunities for increasing the use of low-risk plant protection products in sustainable production. A review. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 44, 21 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13593-024-00957-5

The nitrogen fertilizer conundrum: why is yield a poor determinant of crops’ nitrogen fertilizer requirements?

Sustainable agriculture requires optimizing nitrogen fertilizer applications to crops. It is commonly assumed that higher yielding crops need more nitrogen, and smaller less, despite some evidence that optimum nitrogen applications are poorly related to yields. In contrasting experiments, we show that year-to-year climatic variations cause the poor correlations. New approaches to nitrogen recommendations are needed to account for this uncertainty.

Thorburn, P.J., Biggs, J.S., Puntel, L.A. et al. The nitrogen fertilizer conundrum: why is yield a poor determinant of crops’ nitrogen fertilizer requirements?. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 44, 18 (2024).
https://doi.org/10.1007/s13593-024-00955-7

Adapting agroforestry to upland farming systems: narratives from smallholder farmers in Northwest Vietnam

We assessed farmers’ perspectives and experiences on the impacts of agroforestry adapted to upland farming systems in Northwest Vietnam, combining Q methodology and systems thinking. Farmers had different viewpoints on benefits and challenges of agroforestry. Yet, they underlined shared views on dynamics that leverage synergistic impacts and overcome the adoption challenges for better integration of agroforestry into local farming systems

Do, H., Whitney, C., La, N. et al. Adapting agroforestry to upland farming systems: narratives from smallholder farmers in Northwest Vietnam. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 44, 17 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13593-024-00954-8

Reviewer acknowledgments—ASD 2023

The editors-in-chief would like to sincerely thank all the reviewers who ensured the rigorous, considerate, and constructive evaluations of articles submitted to ASD during the year 2023. Through your voluntary work and the sharing of your skills, you have raised our standards, highlighted the novelty of research, encouraged authors to clarify their messages, removed uncertainties in data processing, and opened up new avenues of discussion. Your conscientious work has improved the scientific quality of the published research articles, reviews, and meta-analyses, rendering the journal more attractive to its readers. All this has enabled the journal to consolidate its metrics and to emerge in 2023 as the leading journal in agronomy.

H Abdelrahman, F Accatino, S J Acquah, M Acutis, N Aguilar-Rivera, A Ahmad, A B Ahmad Khair, M Ahmed, V Alarcón Segura, V Alfano, B Allema, L Alletto, M Alonso-Ayuso, N Andrieu, V Angeon, D Antichi, J Antle, D Aristide, S Avosani, A Ayantunde, J Bacenetti, M Barbercheck, P Baret, A Bargaz, E Barilli, M Beecher, L Bell, M Bell, R Bell, D Bellouin, P S Bindraban, X Bo Zhou, C Bockstaller, P Bogusz, B Bomfim, F Bonini da Luz, P Bosnic, C Brock, T Bruulsema, Z Brym, I Buesa, R Buresh, J Bürger, P Burgess, M Busse, M Carozzi, V Castillo, T Cavagnaro, D Cavalli, S Ceccarelli, A Cerevkova, V Chable, I Chahal, C Charatsari, J-D Charrière, B Chauvel, S F da S Chaves, B Chávez-Vergara, M Chen, J Chen, M Chevelev-Bonatti, P Chidambaranathan, A Cirujeda, P Clerino, C Clermont-Dauphin, C Collins, C Colnenne-David, C Compagnone, S Cook, S Cordeau, M Corson, M Croci, K Crowley, T Dalhaus, S M M Dandan, I Darnhofer, S. Das, A J Daymond, E De Olde, N de Roo, P Debaeke, B Dedieu, S Dehyouri, A Del Prado, H Deshmukh, C Di Bene, V Diogo, T Doering, M dos Reis Martins, A Durand-Morat, E Elli, E B Erenoğlu, M Finckh, M Gabbrielli, E Galan, F Gallardo-López, J Gay, N Gentsch, C Geppert, S Giuliano, I Goldringer, M Gosme, I Grechi, A Gross, F R Grossauer, G Guardia, F Hahn, F-E Helepciuc, F Hermans, B Herrera Sabillon, S Hoischen, D Holzowrth, N Hostiou, T Hu, H J Inocêncio, N Iofrida, R Isla, Y Y Jaimes-Suárez, M Jalli, R A Jat, M Jiménez Martínez, A Johnson, L Jordan-Meille, E Justes, M Kernecker, J Kirkegaard, R Kraaijvanger, N Kumar, S Kumar, F Küzmiƒç, J Labreuche, J Lairez, A Lashkari, R A Laumann, R Lawes, G Le Provost, P Lescoat, C Li, L Li, M Li, Y Li, K Liu, J Lloveras Vilamanyà, A Lopes, R Lorrillière, M D Lozano Tovar, E Luedeling, H Maat, I Macedo, C MacLaren, M-B Magrini, E Mapfumo, T Martin, T Martin, M Martínez-Mena, R S Massad, G Mastalerczuk, V Materia, L Mc Namara, T McBeath, A McVittie, M S Meier, H Meinke, F Mensah, L Mercenaro, A Merot, S A Mesele, A Metay, B Mirgol, D Möller, K Morel, C Mottes, T H Mulesa, W Mulimbi, E Munasinghe, R Mungkung, A-C Mupepele, T Nemecek, R Nettle, N Nikolic, M-O Nozières-Petit, B Oehen, A Onofri, R Osman, E Padoan, A Perego, S Petit-Michaut, H-P Piepho, E Polge, P Pongrac, E Porcher, K Prager, G Preiti, R Price, L Prost, C Qiao, M Quemada, A Ratnadass, M D Raya-Sereno, N Raymond, N Riekoetter, L Riggi, D Rivest, L Rodrigo, A Rodriguez-Hernandez, A Roesch, A Romyen, E Ronner, M Ros, G Rubio, C Ruviaro, I Sache, S Saia, C Salembier, C Schob, L Schulte-Filthaut, A G T Schut, J P Sciurano, K Scow, U Skiba, M Skowroñska, V Snow, V Souchère, B Strehlow, J Sumberg, F Tacconi, T Tadiello, E Tello, I Tiermann, J Timaeus, J Trap, G Trebuil, V Triantafyllidis, K Vaiknoras, E Vall, J van den Berg, H Van der Werf, W van der Werf, M van Loon, P Van Oort, S Vanino, F M Vanwindekens, J Vasco Silva, A Vatsanidou, K Verburg, A Vergnes, P Veysset, D Viaggi, I Vogeler Cronin, M Von Cossel, H Wang, P Wardana, D Warren Raffa, M Weinmann, S Winter, J Wohlfahrt, S Woodward, W Xie, F Zhang, G Zhang, X Zhang, X Zhao.

Agricultural technology as a driver of sustainable intensification: insights from the diffusion and focus of patents

Patents can provide an important yet underexplored lens on agricultural innovation and development. Based on more than one million patents issued during the period 1970–2022, we explored the degree to which agricultural patents have related to sustainability targets over time. Only 4% of all patents related to sustainability targets, yet this has increased to 8% in recent years.

Li, Y., Herzog, F., Levers, C. et al. Agricultural technology as a driver of sustainable intensification: insights from the diffusion and focus of patents. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 44, 14 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13593-024-00949-5

Distribution of pesticides in agroecosystem food webs differ among trophic groups and between annual and perennial crops

Pesticides threaten biodiversity, but their impact on agroecosystem food webs remains unclear. Our study reveals pesticides, including banned ones, enter local food webs from surrounding landscapes through diverse routes. Trophic groups and agroecosystem type influence the number of detected pesticides. We found that insecticides and fungicides bioaccumulate, while herbicides (bio)degrade. Our findings emphasize how species traits and agroecosystem characteristics collectively impact pesticide distribution in food webs. This study provides crucial insights into the ecological consequences of pesticide use, informing sustainable pest management and biodiversity conservation.

Michalko, R., Purchart, L., Hofman, J. et al. Distribution of pesticides in agroecosystem food webs differ among trophic groups and between annual and perennial crops. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 44, 13 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13593-024-00950-y

 

Diversity, adoption and performances of inter-row management practices in immature rubber plantations. A review

The immature period of rubber plantations is rarely characterized and assessed, despite its significant economic and environmental impacts. Our literature review on inter-row management highlights a diversity of practices, with the drivers of adoption and the effects on the plots’ performances. Our findings reveal gaps in existing knowledge essential for a comprehensive understanding of current management in immature rubber plantations.

Simon, C., Thoumazeau, A., Chambon, B. et al. Diversity, adoption and performances of inter-row management practices in immature rubber plantations. A review. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 44, 12 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13593-024-00944-w

Landscape perspectives for agroecological weed management. A review

The current research effort on agroecological weed management is largely rooted in agronomy and field-scale farming practices. This article reviews current knowledge of landscape effects on weed communities and seed predation. The ecological processes underlying landscape effects, their interaction with in-field approaches, and the implications of landscape-scale change for agroecological weed management are discussed.

Boinot, S., Alignier, A. & Storkey, J. Landscape perspectives for agroecological weed management. A review. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 44, 7 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13593-023-00941-5