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Outlook On Agriculture cover Outlook on Agriculture logo Outlook On Agriculture cover

The international journal devoted to agricultural science, policy and strategy.

ISSN 0030-7270 (print); 2043-6866 (online)

Editor: Dr Jerry Knox

This journal is covered by Thomson Reuters in the Science Citation Index, the Science Citation Index Expanded, Current Contents/Agriculture, Biology & Environmental Sciences, and BIOSIS Previews. Impact Factor: 0.478. 5-Year Impact Factor: 0.692. (Journal Citation Reports®, 2015 release, Thomson Reuters.).

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Editorial coverage

Outlook on Agriculture is published quarterly and welcomes original research papers, research notes, invited reviews and commentary for an international and interdisciplinary readership. Special attention is paid to agricultural policy, international trade in the agricultural sector, strategic developments in food production, the links between agricultural systems and food security, the role of agriculture in social and economic development, agriculture in developing countries and environmental issues, including natural resources for agriculture and climate impacts. Articles should be in the region of 4,000 words; relevant literature should be cited with a recommended limit of 30 references.

Submissions - Notes for authors

Outlook on Agriculture uses an online webtool called Editman for manuscript submission, review and feedback. Please follow the link below to submit your manuscript through Editman:


You will first need to register with Editman and then upload details regarding your manuscript. The process is quick and straightforward. Once complete, you will receive an acknowledgement and your paper will then be screened for journal relevance.

Length and presentation of contributions

Articles should be in the region of 4,000 words. Research notes and shorter pieces will also be considered for publication. In addition, papers derived from work done under the EU Research Framework Programme will be readily considered. Submissions should be double-spaced. Electronic versions must be in Word.

The text should be ordered under appropriate sub-headings (not numbered paragraphs or sections) and where possible these should not be more than 800 words apart. Three levels of sub-heading are possible.

The title page should show the names and addresses of the authors, their professional status and affiliation and the address (including e-mail) to which correspondence should be sent. As this page will not be sent to referees, the title of the article (without author names) should be repeated on the first text page.

An abstract should be provided, comprising 100-150 words.

Between 3 and 6 keywords should appear below the abstract, highlighting the main topics of the paper. References should follow the Harvard system. That is, they should be shown within the text as the author's surname (or authors' surnames) followed by a comma and the year of publication, all in round brackets: for example, (Smith, 1998). For textual citations, where there are two authors please use the word 'and', not the ampersand (thus: '(Smith and Jones, 2012)'. Where there are more than two authors, please use the first-named author only, followed by 'et al' in italics (thus: Smith et al, 2012). At the end of the article a bibliographical list should be supplied, organized alphabetically by author (surnames followed by initials - all authors should be named). Bibliographic information should be given in the order indicated by the following examples: 

Articles: Wheeler, T., and Kay, M. (2010), ‘Food crop production, water and climate change in the developing world’, Outlook on Agriculture, Vol 39, No 4, pp 239–243.

Books: Lovelock, J. (2009), The Vanishing Face of Gaia: a Final Warning, Allen Lane, London.

Notes should be numbered consecutively in the text and typed in plain text at the end of the paper (not as footnotes on text pages).

Tables should be reduced to the simplest form and present only essential data. They should be submitted on separate sheets at the end of the article. The use of vertical rules in tables should be avoided.

For illustrations, line drawings and photographs are acceptable. Authors are asked to supply originals of line drawings for reproduction. Photographs should be glossy prints with good contrast. Authors should bear in mind that colour illustrations will be reproduced in black and white in the print version of the journal.

Prior Publication

Articles are received on the understanding that they are original contributions, and have not been published officially, either in print or electronic form, or submitted for publication elsewhere. In this respect, ‘discussion’ or ‘working’ papers, conference presentations and proceedings are not considered to be official publications, unless they have been formally deemed so by conference organizers, or presented as edited works through recognized publishing channels. If in doubt, authors are asked to draw the attention of the Editor to any prior dissemination of the paper in their letter of submission. Please note that articles should not be posted on personal Websites or social networking sites before or after submission.


Other than research notes, reports, and personal opinion pieces, articles will be refereed. Papers by authors who are not academics (eg submissions from industry) will also be subject to review before acceptance, but their distinct nature and aims will be fully taken into account.


Authors will be asked to assign copyright, where possible, to IP Publishing Ltd. Relevant authors’ rights are protected.

Author Checklist for Final versions

Editorial Board

  • Editor: Dr Jerry Knox, Cranfield Institute for Water Science, Dept of Environmental Science and Technology, Cranfield University, Bedford MK43 0AL, UK. E-mail: j.knox(a)cranfield.ac.uk
  • Consulting Editor: Dr David Lister, Somerset, UK

Editorial Advisory Board

  • Professor P.K. Aggarwal
    Indian Agricultural Research Institute, India
  • Dr Simon Anderson
    International Institute for Environment and Development, UK
  • Professor Deng Xi-Ping
    Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
  • Dr C. Devendra
    Consulting Tropical Animal Production Specialist, Malaysia
  • Dr R. C. Hardwick
    Brussels, Belgium
  • Dr Alfred Hartemink
    University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
  • Hsin Huang
    International Meat Secretariat, France
  • Dr Jill M. Lenné,
    Consulting Tropical Agriculture Specialist, Fyvie, UK
  • Dr Antoinette Mannion
    Department of Geography, University of Reading, UK
  • Professor Graham Matthews
    Imperial College London, UK
  • Dr Sushil Pandey
    International Rice Research Institute, The Philippines
  • Dr Thomas Fitz Randolph
    International Livestock Research Institute, Kenya
  • Dr Fabrice Renaud
    United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Germany
  • Dr J. Sumberg
    Institute of Development Studies, UK
  • Professor Guido van Huylenbroeck
    Department of Agricultural Economics, Ghent University, Belgium
  • Professor J. Van Staden
    Research Centre for Plant Growth & Development, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

June 2015 Issue (VOL 44 NO 2)

93 Guest Editorial: Reducing irrigation inefficiencies in water-intensive cropping – evidence from strawberry production in south-west Spain

Jorge García Morillo

97 The role of market participants in agricultural futures markets

Jingnan Wu, Finbarr Murphy, John Garvey and Weifeng Ma

109 Output impacts of the Single Payment Scheme in Portugal: a regression with spatial effects

Vítor João Pereira Domingues Martinho

119 Exploring irrigation futures: developments in demand forecasting

Keith Weatherhead, Jerry Knox, Tim Hess and Andre Daccache

127 Trade competitiveness in table grapes: a global view

Antonio Seccia, Fabio G. Santeramo and Gianluca Nardone

135 Assessing agri-environmental management and inorganic fertilizer consumption using environmental indicators

Serkan Gürlük

143 Impacts of climate change on crop production in Bolivia and Peru: a systematic review of evidence

Rocio Ballesteros Gonzalez

151 Food miles and future scenario for local food systems: an exploratory study in Greece

Maria Partalidou

159 Natural resource management and crop production strategies to improve regional food systems in Tanzania

F. Graef, I. Schneider, A. Fasse, J.U. Germer, E. Gevorgyan, F. Haule,H. Hoffmann, F.C. Kahimba, L. Kashaga, L. Kissoly, C. Lambert, M. Lana, H.F. Mahoo, B. Makoko, S.H. Mbaga, A. Mmbughu, S. Mkangwa, L. Mrosso, K.D. Mutabazi, L. Mwinuka, H. Ngazi, E. Nkonya, C. Reif, S. Said, A. Schaffert, M.P. Schäfer, J. Schindler, S. Sieber, M. Swamila, H.M. Welp, L. William and Y.M. Yustas

Title: The role of market participants in agricultural futures markets

Author(s): Jingnan Wu, Finbarr Murphy, John Garvey and Weifeng Ma

Abstract: Agricultural commodities markets provide an important venue for the transfer and pricing of large volumes of key inputs of food production. The structure of the market and the activity and motivations of market participants are factors in pricing stability and ultimately the costs for food produced and consumed on world markets. This paper uses a modified behavioural finance model and trader categories defined by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to examine sentiment-driven price changes and speculative activity in wheat, soybean, rough rice, soybean meal, soybean oil, corn and live cattle. The paper further combines a Vector Autoregression (VAR) model and Cumby-Modest tests to describe the positive feedback trading behaviour of different investors. The analysis shows that speculators are positive feedback traders and that, while previous returns influence sentiment, sentiment does not influence returns except when sentiment is high.

Read the full article here

Title: Output impacts of the Single Payment Scheme in Portugal: a regression with spatial effects

Author(s): Vítor João Pereira Domingues Martinho

Abstract: The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the European Union agricultural sector is subject to much discussion and controversy, justifying the need for research to clarify disputed topics. This study analyses the impact of the Single Payment Scheme (one of the the most recent instruments of the CAP) on the performance of the Portuguese agricultural sector (output, employment and productivity), using a model with spatial effects based on the Cobb and Douglas (1928) concepts. Data for 2010 concerning Portuguese municipalities were used, taking into account information from the Institute of Finance of Agriculture and Fisheries (IFAP) and Statistics Portugal (INE, 2013). The analyses show that the Single Payment Scheme could be better adjusted to the Portuguese situation, considering that it does not clearly promote agricultural activity outside the traditional zones and does not explicitly improve farming output. For the variables considered, the spatial autocorrelation also provides insights into the support of future agricultural policy development.

Read the full article here

Title: Exploring irrigation futures: developments in demand forecasting

Author(s): Keith Weatherhead, Jerry Knox, Tim Hess and Andre Daccache

Abstract: Estimates of the magnitude and location of future irrigation demand are essential for strategic planning of water resources at national and regional levels. However, demand forecasting is fraught with difficulty, as water use for supplementary irrigation is highly sensitive to changes in agro- economic policy, climate and future water resources availability. Short-term forecasts are normally based on existing trends, modified by any expected variations. Following a long period of growth, the volume of water being abstracted for irrigation in England and Wales appears to be in decline. After allowing for annual weather variations, the underlying decline in dry year demand was –1.4% per annum from 1990 to 2010. Extrapolating these trends forward suggests a further reduction of around one-quarter (–25%) by 2030. However longer-term forecasts (to the 2050s) need to consider alternative possible futures. The authors used a combination methodology to incorporate changes in population demographics, consumption and consumer preferences under a range of socioeconomic policies for four defined socioeconomic futures. The projected changes in ‘unconstrained’ demand in a dry year ranged from +40% to +167% by the 2050s; ‘actual’ water use will be constrained by water availability and allocation policy, which itself may lead to a relocation of demand. Combined with a probable decline in low-flow (summer) water availability, this indicates major future water resource issues. The figures need to be interpreted with caution as they are sensitive to model input values, and ignore impacts of step-change genetic improvements and the effects of changing CO2 concentrations on crop growth. The differences between forecasts also highlight the sensitivity to assumptions and the potential impact of deeper-seated changes on current trends. Some policy options and potential adaptations are discussed.

Read the full article here

Title: Trade competitiveness in table grapes: a global view

Author(s): Antonio Seccia, Fabio G. Santeramo and Gianluca Nardone

Abstract: International trade in table grapes has expanded tremendously over the last few decades, with out-of-season fresh produce now being traded and consumed globally. Trade intensification has been driven by emerging traders who have changed the economic geography of table grape production. Improving competitiveness in global markets is a driving objective for entrepreneurs and policy makers. However, while the global trade in table grapes has become very important, empirical papers on the topic are limited. In this study, the authors investigate the global dynamics in the trade of table grapes between 1961 and 2011 and characterize the time series properties of the market shares for leading table grape-exporting countries. The analysis shows how trends in the market shares of historical exporters and emerging countries have changed over the past few decades. The paper provides new and useful insights for forecasting the prospects for the international fresh food trade.

Read the full article here

Title: Assessing agri-environmental management and inorganic fertilizer consumption using environmental indicators

Author(s): Serkan Gürlük

Abstract: The Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) is an important environmental indicator that exhibits an inverted U-shaped curve between a specific measure of environmental pollution and per capita income. The environmental pollution risk parameter used in this study was inorganic fertilizer. The study assessed a Critical Environmental Risk Threshold (CERT) value by considering basic variables, such as the amount of long-term total groundwater, arable land, Nitrate Vulnerable Zones and water withdrawal rates. The CERT value could provide researchers and policy makers with new insights into whether or not countries are exceeding their critical environmental threshold points. The countries investigated included Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, India, Spain, France, Italy, China, Brazil and the USA. The results indicate that the use of inorganic fertilizer in the Netherlands and Germany exceeds their relative turning points above their CERT values and that these countries should therefore review their agri-environmental management policies.

Read the full article here

Title: Impacts of climate change on crop production in Bolivia and Peru: a systematic review of evidence

Author(s): Rocio Ballesteros Gonzalez

Abstract: For many developing countries, agriculture is the cornerstone of their economy. Whilst extreme weather events are an accepted phenomenon in some Latin American countries, others such as Bolivia and Peru are not so used to their apparently increasing frequency. Developing new policies and strategies to cope with climate change and its associated extreme events therefore requires robust knowledge on the reported impacts, consequences and implications. This paper presents the findings from a systematic review of published evidence on the impacts of climate change on cropping systems and rural livelihoods across a range of agricultural and socio-technical dimensions. Adaptation measures need to consider not only the weather and physical dimensions of climate change, but also its social consequences. Factors influencing agriculture, including water resource impacts, crop profitability, environmental constraints, social and political transformations, and traditional knowledge and practices, were identified and reviewed to provide a comprehensive assessment of these key aspects, which are highly relevant to the region.

Read the full article here

Title: Food miles and future scenario for local food systems: an exploratory study in Greece

Author(s): Maria Partalidou

Abstract: A global mix of challenges has stimulated the development of alternative food production and distribution systems in an attempt to achieve food sovereignty and minimize the distance (geographical, social and economic) between rural and urban regions and between producers/farmers and consumers/urban dwellers. This paper questions how far our food comes and how well the city is connected to local producers. Using participant observations at five retail venues, the author calculates the food miles for several types of fruit and vegetables and identifies the peri-urban farmers that serve the city. Using a three-stage Delphi technique, she focuses on the most likely future conditions for agro-food production and local food systems. To overcome the effects of the economic crisis and change the dominant role of the agro-food system, farmers believe they can survive without middlemen.

Read the full article here

Title: Natural resource management and crop production strategies to improve regional food systems in Tanzania

Author(s): F. Graef, I. Schneider, A. Fasse, J.U. Germer, E. Gevorgyan, F. Haule,H. Hoffmann, F.C. Kahimba, L. Kashaga, L. Kissoly, C. Lambert, M. Lana, H.F. Mahoo, B. Makoko, S.H. Mbaga, A. Mmbughu, S. Mkangwa, L. Mrosso, K.D. Mutabazi, L. Mwinuka, H. Ngazi, E. Nkonya, C. Reif, S. Said, A. Schaffert, M.P. Schäfer, J. Schindler, S. Sieber, M. Swamila, H.M. Welp, L. William and Y.M. Yustas

Abstract: Sustainable rural food systems for poor and vulnerable people need to be locally adapted to enhance food security. This requires participatory action research that considers the entire food value chain (FVC). This paper presents an assessment of the feasibility and potential success of upgrading strategies (UPS) for enhancing food security based on a study that was part of a larger participatory research project in two regions of Tanzania. The authors present the results relating to natural resource management and crop production. The results for natural resources show that enhanced soil water management was rated as high for the semi-arid Dodoma region. For the Morogoro region, the experts favoured soil fertility-improving UPS, such as conservation agriculture and agroforestry. Assessments of food production for both regions indicated the importance of intercropping, manure input, pest and disease control and cover crops. Assessments differed greatly between the two different climatic regions, and to a lesser extent between the nationality of the experts and their gender. This highlights the importance of including different South–North and female–male awareness in assessments. Implementation feasibility assessments of UPS indicated that the most suitable approaches were rainwater harvesting for semi-arid and conservation agriculture for subhumid regions respectively. Local and/or regional stakeholders and experts should be involved in developing and assessing site- adapted UPS for enhancing Tanzanian FVCs.

Read the full article here

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