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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Agroecosystems Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #342289

Title: Science in the supply chain: Collaboration opportunities for advancing sustainable agriculture in the United States

item THOMPSON, ALLISON - Field To Market: The Alliance For Sustainable Agriculture
item STEWART, RAMSEY - Ihs Markit
item BARNES, EDWARD - Cotton, Inc
item BASSO, BRUNO - Michigan State University
item Eve, Marlen
item GENNET, SASHA - Nature Conservancy
item GRASSINI, PATRICIO - University Of Nebraska
item MATLOCK, MARTY - University Of Arkansas
item MCCLELLEN, EILEEN - Environmental Defense
item SPEVAK, ED - Memphis Zoo
item SNYDER, CLIFFORD - International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI)
item Tomer, Mark
item VAN KESSEL, CHRIS - University Of California, Davis
item WEST, TRISTRAM - US Department Of Energy
item WICK, GRANT - Field To Market: The Alliance For Sustainable Agriculture

Submitted to: Agricultural and Environmental Letters
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/19/2017
Publication Date: 7/13/2017
Citation: Thompson, A.M., Stewart, R., Barnes, E., Basso, B., Eve, M.D., Gennet, S., Grassini, P., Kliethermis, B., Matlock, M., Mcclellen, E., Spevak, E., Snyder, C.S., Tomer, M.D., Van Kessel, C., West, T., Wick, G. 2017. Science in the supply chain: Collaboration opportunities for advancing sustainable agriculture in the United States. Agricultural and Environmental Letters. 2:170015.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Consumers and food companies are increasingly interested in understanding the sustainability of agricultural supply chains to reduce the environmental impacts of food, fiber, feed and fuel production. This emerging need to quantify environmental outcomes from agricultural production creates an opportunity for collaboration with the scientific community. Without such collaboration, sustainability efforts risk failure by adopting unrealistic goals or misguided approaches. This commentary explores the role of science in a sustainability program for US commodity crops, and highlights opportunities to address emerging science challenges. We evaluate changes over the past 35 years in key environmental impacts of crop production used to inform land managers and representatives of supply chain companies who are committed to improvements. Achieving improvements will only be possible if three key knowledge gaps are addressed regarding available simulation models and data, scale of implementation and uncertainty, and effectiveness of conservation practices. Filling these gaps presents an opportunity for dialogue between scientists, farmers, and private sector stakeholders to advance scientific knowledge and promote the common objective of sustainable agriculture.