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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: 0.538.

This journal is indexed in Scopus

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Outlook on Agriculture, published quarterly, provides analysis, 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 role of agriculture in social and economic development, agriculture in developing countries, and environmental issues. Further details are available at www.ippublishing.com. Articles should be in the region of 4,000 words. Submissions of research notes and shorter pieces will also be welcome.

Submissions - Notes for authors

Please send submissions (in Word) to the Editor, Dr Jerry Knox, by e-mail or post. E-mail: j.knox(a)cranfield.ac.uk. Postal address: Cranfield Institute for Water Science, Dept of Environmental Science and Technology, Cranfield University, Bedford MK43 0AL, UK.

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.

Refereeing

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.

Copyright

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

MARCH 2014 ISSUE (VOL 43 NO 1)

5 The search for efficiency in the management of natural resources

C. Devendra

13 Managing climate variability in agriculture: using weather forecasting to support farming adaptation

Stephen Dorling

19 Technical efficiency and determinants of mobility patterns in European agriculture

Zoltán Bakucs, Imre Fertő, Laure Latruffe and Yann Desjeux

25 Waterproofing wheat – a re-evaluation of film antitranspirants in the context of reproductive drought physiology

Peter S. Kettlewell

31 A dual approach to evaluating the agricultural productivity of fruit farms in Emilia-Romagna

Aldo Bertazzoli, Rino Ghelfi, Isidoro Guzmán and Sergio Rivaroli

39 Fine atmospheric particles from agricultural practices in Flanders: from emissions to health effects and limit values

Jurgen Buekers, Felix Deutsch, Nele Veldeman, Stijn Janssen and Luc Int Panis

45 Smallholder participation in large forestry programmes: the Camellia programme in Jiangxi province, China

Jia Li, Bettina Bluemling, Liesbeth Dries and Shuyi Feng

53 Impacts of the SADC Free Trade Agreement on South African agricultural trade

Oluwatoba Akinsuyi Fadeyi, T. Yonas Bahta, Abiodun Akintunde Ogundeji and B. Johan Willemse

61 Assessing uncertainty in the Polish agricultural greenhouse gas emission inventory using Monte Carlo simulation

Elżbieta Wójcik-Gront and Dominik Gront

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Title: The search for efficiency in the management of natural resources

Author(s): C. Devendra

Abstract: There is an urgent need to regenerate agriculture to increase productivity, support economic development and address concerns regarding food security. The fundamental question is whether the more efficient use of natural resources can help to reduce malnutrition and food insecurity while providing adequate food supplies to feed a burgeoning population in an environmentally sustainable way. In this paper, three pathways are considered: expanding existing arable land to include crop– animal systems; intensifying existing land use; and expanding production in less favoured areas (LFAs). Silvo–pastoral systems, common in rainfed areas, are often underestimated with regard to their capacity for carbon sequestration, value addition and increased productivity. Animals can also support improved livelihoods and can be used as an entry point for the development of LFAs. However, the varied and complex issues related to such development require an interdisciplinary approach that addresses demographics, socioeconomics, resource allocation, value chains, trade and marketing. Combined with effective development policy, the goals of sustainable food production and environmental protection are achievable. This paper reviews the issues and sets out options for improving the management of natural resources to support agricultural development.

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Title: Managing climate variability in agriculture: using weather forecasting to support farming adaptation

Author(s): Stephen Dorling

Abstract: Recent unseasonal weather events and assessments of the potential impacts of climate change and variability on agriculture reveal that there is a pressing need to consider the range of adaptation options available to farmers, including their technical suitability, economic viability and environmental impact. This paper reviews the potential role of weather forecasting with reference to agriculture, including a brief assessment of its current status and uptake, its suitability and target use, issues associated with investment and benefit, and the constraints to wider uptake.

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Title: Technical efficiency and determinants of mobility patterns in European agriculture

Author(s): Zoltán Bakucs, Imre Fertő, Laure Latruffe and Yann Desjeux

Abstract: European agriculture has undergone considerable structural changes in the last two decades, with a decreasing number of farms and increasing farm size. One important question is whether these changes have been translated into improvements in technical efficiency. The paper provides a comparative analysis of farm technical efficiency in eight EU member states. More specifically, the authors focus on the relative performance fluctuation over time – namely, whether poorly performing farms always remain inefficient whilst some farms are always efficient. The most striking results are as follows. First, there is a remarkable robustness of farm efficiency stability across countries: on average, 60% of farms maintain their efficiency ranking in two consecutive years, while 20% improve and 20% worsen their positions. Second, there is a clear difference between the mobility indicators with respect to farm technical efficiency ranking between the EU15 and the new member states (NMS) included in the study. Due to unstable economic conditions, farms in NMS are more mobile than those in the EU15. Finally, using second-stage regression of mobility scores on a set of farm-specific explanatory variables, some explanations of the mobility patterns are offered.

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Title: Waterproofing wheat – a re-evaluation of film antitranspirants in the context of reproductive drought physiology

Author(s): Peter S. Kettlewell

Abstract: Film antitranspirants are polymers sprayed on plants to reduce loss of water from transpiration. Early reviews of film antitranspirants logically concluded that the polymers would not be useful on crops because photosynthesis was also reduced. This conclusion is re-evaluated here, taking account of more recent knowledge of drought damage mechanisms. Research at Harper Adams University shows that film antitranspirants applied to wheat before the drought-sensitive stage of meiosis can increase yield, despite reducing photosynthesis, and that this increase is associated with improved pollen viability. It is concluded that use of film antitranspirants has potential as a crop management technique to reduce drought damage to wheat, and possibly to many other crops.

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Title: A dual approach to evaluating the agricultural productivity of fruit farms in Emilia-Romagna

Author(s): Aldo Bertazzoli, Rino Ghelfi, Isidoro Guzmán and Sergio Rivaroli

Abstract: Productivity analysis is a frequent topic on the agenda for many researchers, whose efforts are focused on establishing adequate measurement criteria and then applying them to specific case studies. Based on accountancy micro-data for 2000 to 2009 for a group of fruit- growing farms, the purpose of this study was to verify the similarity between two methods of productivity measurement: the total factor productivity (TFP) index and the Malmquist index. The results broadly confirm the substantial congruence of the two indices and show an increase in the productivity of fruit farms in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. However, the results should be carefully interpreted, since the productivity fluctuations during the decade suggest that this kind of analysis should be conducted using medium to long-term time-series data. Furthermore, the TFP index seems to be generally higher than the Malmquist index, implying that these measures are suitable for an overview of trends rather than exact measures of productivity.

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Title: Fine atmospheric particles from agricultural practices in Flanders: from emissions to health effects and limit values

Author(s): Jurgen Buekers, Felix Deutsch, Nele Veldeman, Stijn Janssen and Luc Int Panis

Abstract: Agriculture can influence air quality via emissions of ammonia, soil dust and soot. These can be emitted into the atmosphere during farming practices, and contribute in different amounts to the total emissions and concentrations of air particulate matter (PM). The exact contribution of Flemish agricultural emissions to total air PM concentrations and to negative health effects are not well known. In this paper, agricultural emissions in Flanders and the processes leading to secondary PM are reviewed, together with their associated health effects. Agricultural ammonia emissions are a major contributor to local formation of secondary PM, and can increase above normal levels during some smog episodes. From a health perspective, secondary PM formed by ammonia is considered less important. Epidemiological studies suggest that combustion-related particles are the cause of negative health effects, although a reduction in ammonia emissions would reduce acidification and eutrophication of ecosystems. The World Health Organization currently considers PM2.5 as the best indicator for assessing human health effects. Setting an additional limit value for combustion-related particles would target potentially more harmful particles.

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Title: Smallholder participation in large forestry programmes: the Camellia programme in Jiangxi province, China

Author(s): Jia Li, Bettina Bluemling, Liesbeth Dries and Shuyi Feng

Abstract: In recent years, many forestry projects have been implemented in developing countries. In China, a variety of large-scale afforestation and reforestation programmes have been carried out with multiple objectives, such as livelihood improvement and carbon sequestration. As in many developing countries, these projects have been implemented in a smallholder context. This paper investigates the determinants of smallholder participation in large forestry projects. Using the case of camellia, it explores the determinants of smallholder participation using a probit regression model. To distinguish between participation in international and government-run projects, a bivariate probit regression model is used. The findings show that only 37% of households in the sample had participated in the Camellia project; a major reason for the low participation rate is perceived tenure insecurity. The results of the bivariate probit model show that the education level of the household head and household size have a positive impact on the likelihood of household participation. The more ‘off-farm’ activities are taken up in a household, the less likely a household is to participate in an international project. For a government project, household size also has a positive impact on the likelihood of participation. Chinese forestry is diversifying since the devolution of forestland use rights, with a majority of households hesitating to invest, while some risk investment and others depend on government subsidies. The main policy implication is that, if the Chinese government wishes to achieve its goal of 1.68 million hectares of camellia, then improving tenure security is crucial.

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Title: Impacts of the SADC Free Trade Agreement on South African agricultural trade

Author(s): Oluwatoba Akinsuyi Fadeyi, T. Yonas Bahta, Abiodun Akintunde Ogundeji and B. Johan Willemse

Abstract: Trade is an essential component of modern society, with nations signing bilateral trade agreements to engage in various forms of economic integration. Developing countries in southern Africa are also involved in economic integration to underpin development. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) became a free trade area in 2008 for the economic integration of its members. This study evaluates the impact of the SADC Free Trade Agreement (SADC FTA) on South African agricultural trade using the Poisson Pseudo-Maximum Likelihood (PPML) specification of gravity model to determine the significance of variables within the model. Bilateral trade data were obtained from the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics (UN Comtrade) database and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), while data on gross domestic product and population were sourced from the World Bank Development Indicators (WDI) database. The results show that there has been a net trade-creating effect and increasing intra-SADC bloc trade in beef. Intra- regional trade in maize has also been stimulated by the implementation of the agreement.

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Title: Assessing uncertainty in the Polish agricultural greenhouse gas emission inventory using Monte Carlo simulation

Author(s): Elżbieta Wójcik-Gront and Dominik Gront

Abstract: Poland reports its greenhouse gas emissions annually to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This report also includes an estimation of uncertainty; for Poland, a simplified method based on error propagation is currently used. In this paper the authors estimate uncertainty concerning agricultural emissions in Poland in 2011 using an alternative Monte Carlo analysis. They compare the results from these simulations against the error propagation method. For methane emissions, the simulation results are similar to the simplified uncertainty estimation method and give a mean value of 576.8 Gg with an uncertainty range of –21.7% to +25.8%. The more pronounced differences between methods are for nitrous oxide emissions, for which the mean value of 73.5 Gg N2O was calculated, but the uncertainty is more asymmetrical, ranging from –50.0% to +79.9%. The policy implications of these differences are outlined.

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