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Research Project: Strategies to Support Resilient Agricultural Systems of the Southeastern U.S.

Location: Plant Science Research

Title: Integrated crop-livestock systems – A way to reach compromise between agricultural production and environmental preservation?

Author
item Lemaire, Gilles - Inland Northwest Research Alliance, Inra
item Franzluebbers, Alan
item De Faccio Carvahlo, Paulo Cesar - Federal University Of Rio Grande Do Sul
item Dedieu, Benoit - Inland Northwest Research Alliance, Inra
item Herrero, Mario - International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) - Kenya

Submitted to: International Livestock Symposium
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/30/2012
Publication Date: 10/1/2012
Citation: Lemaire, G., Franzluebbers, A.J., De Faccio Carvahlo, P., Dedieu, B., Herrero, M. 2012. Integrated crop-livestock systems – A way to reach compromise between agricultural production and environmental preservation?. In Proc. 2nd Int. Symp. Crop-Livestock Syst. (CD-ROM). 8-12 Oct 2012, Porto Alegre, Brazil. (Proceedings)

Interpretive Summary: none available.

Technical Abstract: A need to increase agricultural production across the world for a food security reason appears to be at odds with the urgency to reduce agriculture’s negative environmental impacts. We suggest that a cause of this dichotomy is loss of diversity within agricultural systems at field, farm and landscape scales. Local integration of cropping with livestock systems would allow (i) better regulation of biogeochemical cycles and environmental fluxes to the atmosphere and hydrosphere through spatial and temporal interactions among different land-use systems; (ii) more diversified and structured landscape mosaic that would enhance biodiversity, favoring habitats and trophic networks; and (iii) greater flexibility of the whole system to cope with potential hazards and crises. We postulate that development of modern integrated crop-livestock systems to increase food production at farm and regional levels could be achieved, while improving many ecosystem services. Integrated crop-livestock systems, therefore, could be a key form of ecological intensification needed for achieving future food security and environmental sustainability.