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Whole-farm nitrogen cycling and intensification of crop-livestock systems in the highlands of Madagascar: an application of network analysis

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Whole-farm nitrogen cycling and intensification of crop-livestock systems in the highlands of Madagascar : an application of network analysis. / Alvarez, S.; Rufino, M. C.; Vayssières, J.; Salgado, P.; Tittonell, P.; Tillard, E.; Bocquier, F.

In: Agricultural Systems, Vol. 126, 04.2014, p. 25-37.

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Alvarez, S, Rufino, MC, Vayssières, J, Salgado, P, Tittonell, P, Tillard, E & Bocquier, F 2014, 'Whole-farm nitrogen cycling and intensification of crop-livestock systems in the highlands of Madagascar: an application of network analysis', Agricultural Systems, vol. 126, pp. 25-37. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2013.03.005

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Alvarez, S. ; Rufino, M. C. ; Vayssières, J. ; Salgado, P. ; Tittonell, P. ; Tillard, E. ; Bocquier, F. / Whole-farm nitrogen cycling and intensification of crop-livestock systems in the highlands of Madagascar : an application of network analysis. In: Agricultural Systems. 2014 ; Vol. 126. pp. 25-37.

Bibtex

@article{4d750a40f6a144ca9b64c9abf07e8fa7,
title = "Whole-farm nitrogen cycling and intensification of crop-livestock systems in the highlands of Madagascar: an application of network analysis",
abstract = "Food insecurity, soil fertility depletion and strong competition for biomass are commonly observed in smallholder crop-livestock systems. The objective of this study was to explore options to improve farm-level nitrogen cycling, productivity and economic performance through the analysis of N flows within four contrasting crop-livestock farm systems of Madagascar highlands. Farms were conceptualized as networks where the compartments were the household and their farming activities, all connected by N flows. Indicators assessing network size and cycling, and the organization and diversity of the N flows, were compared with system productivity, food self-sufficiency, and gross margins for the current situation and under four scenarios of intensification (i) dairy production increased by increasing N inputs as supplementary feed; (ii) crop production increased by increasing N inputs as mineral fertilizer; (iii) manure management improved to increase N conservation during storage and application to soils; (iv) a combination of the two most economically attractive scenarios (i and iii). The four case study farms represent local diversity differing widely in terms of network size, with total annual system N throughput ranging from 113 to 1037kgN per capita, and in terms of N cycling, from 3 to 41kgN per capita per year. They differed less in terms of external dependence, from 0.26 to 0.41kgN kgN-1. Improving N conservation through improved manure management (scenario iii) had a positive impact on gross margin, and this in combination with increased concentrate supply (scenario iv) led to increases in whole-farm N use efficiencies from 2% to 50%, in N cycling from 9% to 68% and in food self-sufficiency from 12% to 37% across farm types. Gross margin was the most sensitive indicator to changes in management. Intensification through scenario iv had the highest impact on farm productivity, gross margin, food self-sufficiency, and environment sustainability (N use efficiency, capacity of the soil to stock N).",
keywords = "Crop-livestock integration, Food self-sufficiency, Gross margin, N efficiency, N flows, Smallholder systems",
author = "S. Alvarez and Rufino, {M. C.} and J. Vayssi{\`e}res and P. Salgado and P. Tittonell and E. Tillard and F. Bocquier",
year = "2014",
month = apr,
doi = "10.1016/j.agsy.2013.03.005",
language = "English",
volume = "126",
pages = "25--37",
journal = "Agricultural Systems",
issn = "0308-521X",
publisher = "ELSEVIER SCI LTD",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Whole-farm nitrogen cycling and intensification of crop-livestock systems in the highlands of Madagascar

T2 - an application of network analysis

AU - Alvarez, S.

AU - Rufino, M. C.

AU - Vayssières, J.

AU - Salgado, P.

AU - Tittonell, P.

AU - Tillard, E.

AU - Bocquier, F.

PY - 2014/4

Y1 - 2014/4

N2 - Food insecurity, soil fertility depletion and strong competition for biomass are commonly observed in smallholder crop-livestock systems. The objective of this study was to explore options to improve farm-level nitrogen cycling, productivity and economic performance through the analysis of N flows within four contrasting crop-livestock farm systems of Madagascar highlands. Farms were conceptualized as networks where the compartments were the household and their farming activities, all connected by N flows. Indicators assessing network size and cycling, and the organization and diversity of the N flows, were compared with system productivity, food self-sufficiency, and gross margins for the current situation and under four scenarios of intensification (i) dairy production increased by increasing N inputs as supplementary feed; (ii) crop production increased by increasing N inputs as mineral fertilizer; (iii) manure management improved to increase N conservation during storage and application to soils; (iv) a combination of the two most economically attractive scenarios (i and iii). The four case study farms represent local diversity differing widely in terms of network size, with total annual system N throughput ranging from 113 to 1037kgN per capita, and in terms of N cycling, from 3 to 41kgN per capita per year. They differed less in terms of external dependence, from 0.26 to 0.41kgN kgN-1. Improving N conservation through improved manure management (scenario iii) had a positive impact on gross margin, and this in combination with increased concentrate supply (scenario iv) led to increases in whole-farm N use efficiencies from 2% to 50%, in N cycling from 9% to 68% and in food self-sufficiency from 12% to 37% across farm types. Gross margin was the most sensitive indicator to changes in management. Intensification through scenario iv had the highest impact on farm productivity, gross margin, food self-sufficiency, and environment sustainability (N use efficiency, capacity of the soil to stock N).

AB - Food insecurity, soil fertility depletion and strong competition for biomass are commonly observed in smallholder crop-livestock systems. The objective of this study was to explore options to improve farm-level nitrogen cycling, productivity and economic performance through the analysis of N flows within four contrasting crop-livestock farm systems of Madagascar highlands. Farms were conceptualized as networks where the compartments were the household and their farming activities, all connected by N flows. Indicators assessing network size and cycling, and the organization and diversity of the N flows, were compared with system productivity, food self-sufficiency, and gross margins for the current situation and under four scenarios of intensification (i) dairy production increased by increasing N inputs as supplementary feed; (ii) crop production increased by increasing N inputs as mineral fertilizer; (iii) manure management improved to increase N conservation during storage and application to soils; (iv) a combination of the two most economically attractive scenarios (i and iii). The four case study farms represent local diversity differing widely in terms of network size, with total annual system N throughput ranging from 113 to 1037kgN per capita, and in terms of N cycling, from 3 to 41kgN per capita per year. They differed less in terms of external dependence, from 0.26 to 0.41kgN kgN-1. Improving N conservation through improved manure management (scenario iii) had a positive impact on gross margin, and this in combination with increased concentrate supply (scenario iv) led to increases in whole-farm N use efficiencies from 2% to 50%, in N cycling from 9% to 68% and in food self-sufficiency from 12% to 37% across farm types. Gross margin was the most sensitive indicator to changes in management. Intensification through scenario iv had the highest impact on farm productivity, gross margin, food self-sufficiency, and environment sustainability (N use efficiency, capacity of the soil to stock N).

KW - Crop-livestock integration

KW - Food self-sufficiency

KW - Gross margin

KW - N efficiency

KW - N flows

KW - Smallholder systems

U2 - 10.1016/j.agsy.2013.03.005

DO - 10.1016/j.agsy.2013.03.005

M3 - Journal article

AN - SCOPUS:84896690260

VL - 126

SP - 25

EP - 37

JO - Agricultural Systems

JF - Agricultural Systems

SN - 0308-521X

ER -