What agricultural practices are most likely to deliver "sustainable intensification" in the UK?

LV Dicks, DC Rose, F Ang, S Aston, ANE Birch, N Boatman, EL Bowles, D Chadwick, A Dinsdale, S Durham, J Elliott, L Firbank, S Humphreys, P Jarvis, D Jones, D Kindred, SM Knight, MRF Lee, C Leifert, M LobleyK Matthews, A Midmer, M Moore, C Morris, S Mortimer, TC Murray, K Norman, S Ramsden, DJ Roberts, LG Smith, R Soffe, C Stoate, B Taylor, D Tinker, M Topliff, J Wallace, P Williams, P Wilson, M Winter, WJ Sutherland

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Abstract

Sustainable intensification is a process by which agricultural productivity is enhanced whilst also creating environmental and social benefits. We aimed to identify practices likely to deliver sustainable intensification, currently available for UK farms but not yet widely adopted. We compiled a list of 18 farm management practices with the greatest potential to deliver sustainable intensification in the UK, following a well‐developed stepwise methodology for identifying priority solutions, using a group decision‐making technique with key agricultural experts. The list of priority management practices can provide the focal point of efforts to achieve sustainable intensification of agriculture, as the UK develops post‐Brexit agricultural policy, and pursues the second Sustainable Development Goal, which aims to end hunger and promote sustainable agriculture. The practices largely reflect a technological, production‐focused view of sustainable intensification, including for example, precision farming and animal health diagnostics, with less emphasis on the social and environmental aspects of sustainability. However, they do reflect an integrated approach to farming, covering many different aspects, from business organization and planning, to soil and crop management, to landscape and nature conservation. For a subset of 10 of the priority practices, we gathered data on the level of existing uptake in English and Welsh farms through a stratified survey in seven focal regions. We find substantial existing uptake of most of the priority practices, indicating that UK farming is an innovative sector. The data identify two specific practices for which uptake is relatively low, but which some UK farmers find appealing and would consider adopting. These practices are: prediction of pest and disease outbreaks, especially for livestock farms; staff training on environmental issues, especially on arable farms.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00148
JournalFood and Energy Security
Volume8
Issue number1
Early online date25 Aug 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPrint publication - Feb 2019

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farms
sustainable agricultural intensification
business organization
farming systems
business planning
landscape management
social benefit
precision agriculture
farm management
agricultural policy
hunger
sustainable agriculture
crop management
natural resources conservation
soil management
sustainable development
animal health
ecosystem services
livestock
pests

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Dicks, LV., Rose, DC., Ang, F., Aston, S., Birch, ANE., Boatman, N., ... Sutherland, WJ. (2019). What agricultural practices are most likely to deliver "sustainable intensification" in the UK? Food and Energy Security, 8(1), [e00148]. https://doi.org/10.1002/fes3.148
Dicks, LV ; Rose, DC ; Ang, F ; Aston, S ; Birch, ANE ; Boatman, N ; Bowles, EL ; Chadwick, D ; Dinsdale, A ; Durham, S ; Elliott, J ; Firbank, L ; Humphreys, S ; Jarvis, P ; Jones, D ; Kindred, D ; Knight, SM ; Lee, MRF ; Leifert, C ; Lobley, M ; Matthews, K ; Midmer, A ; Moore, M ; Morris, C ; Mortimer, S ; Murray, TC ; Norman, K ; Ramsden, S ; Roberts, DJ ; Smith, LG ; Soffe, R ; Stoate, C ; Taylor, B ; Tinker, D ; Topliff, M ; Wallace, J ; Williams, P ; Wilson, P ; Winter, M ; Sutherland, WJ. / What agricultural practices are most likely to deliver "sustainable intensification" in the UK?. In: Food and Energy Security. 2019 ; Vol. 8, No. 1.
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author = "LV Dicks and DC Rose and F Ang and S Aston and ANE Birch and N Boatman and EL Bowles and D Chadwick and A Dinsdale and S Durham and J Elliott and L Firbank and S Humphreys and P Jarvis and D Jones and D Kindred and SM Knight and MRF Lee and C Leifert and M Lobley and K Matthews and A Midmer and M Moore and C Morris and S Mortimer and TC Murray and K Norman and S Ramsden and DJ Roberts and LG Smith and R Soffe and C Stoate and B Taylor and D Tinker and M Topliff and J Wallace and P Williams and P Wilson and M Winter and WJ Sutherland",
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Dicks, LV, Rose, DC, Ang, F, Aston, S, Birch, ANE, Boatman, N, Bowles, EL, Chadwick, D, Dinsdale, A, Durham, S, Elliott, J, Firbank, L, Humphreys, S, Jarvis, P, Jones, D, Kindred, D, Knight, SM, Lee, MRF, Leifert, C, Lobley, M, Matthews, K, Midmer, A, Moore, M, Morris, C, Mortimer, S, Murray, TC, Norman, K, Ramsden, S, Roberts, DJ, Smith, LG, Soffe, R, Stoate, C, Taylor, B, Tinker, D, Topliff, M, Wallace, J, Williams, P, Wilson, P, Winter, M & Sutherland, WJ 2019, 'What agricultural practices are most likely to deliver "sustainable intensification" in the UK?', Food and Energy Security, vol. 8, no. 1, e00148. https://doi.org/10.1002/fes3.148

What agricultural practices are most likely to deliver "sustainable intensification" in the UK? / Dicks, LV; Rose, DC; Ang, F; Aston, S; Birch, ANE; Boatman, N; Bowles, EL; Chadwick, D; Dinsdale, A; Durham, S; Elliott, J; Firbank, L; Humphreys, S; Jarvis, P; Jones, D; Kindred, D; Knight, SM; Lee, MRF; Leifert, C; Lobley, M; Matthews, K; Midmer, A; Moore, M; Morris, C; Mortimer, S; Murray, TC; Norman, K; Ramsden, S; Roberts, DJ; Smith, LG; Soffe, R; Stoate, C; Taylor, B; Tinker, D; Topliff, M; Wallace, J; Williams, P; Wilson, P; Winter, M; Sutherland, WJ.

In: Food and Energy Security, Vol. 8, No. 1, e00148, 02.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - What agricultural practices are most likely to deliver "sustainable intensification" in the UK?

AU - Dicks, LV

AU - Rose, DC

AU - Ang, F

AU - Aston, S

AU - Birch, ANE

AU - Boatman, N

AU - Bowles, EL

AU - Chadwick, D

AU - Dinsdale, A

AU - Durham, S

AU - Elliott, J

AU - Firbank, L

AU - Humphreys, S

AU - Jarvis, P

AU - Jones, D

AU - Kindred, D

AU - Knight, SM

AU - Lee, MRF

AU - Leifert, C

AU - Lobley, M

AU - Matthews, K

AU - Midmer, A

AU - Moore, M

AU - Morris, C

AU - Mortimer, S

AU - Murray, TC

AU - Norman, K

AU - Ramsden, S

AU - Roberts, DJ

AU - Smith, LG

AU - Soffe, R

AU - Stoate, C

AU - Taylor, B

AU - Tinker, D

AU - Topliff, M

AU - Wallace, J

AU - Williams, P

AU - Wilson, P

AU - Winter, M

AU - Sutherland, WJ

PY - 2019/2

Y1 - 2019/2

N2 - Sustainable intensification is a process by which agricultural productivity is enhanced whilst also creating environmental and social benefits. We aimed to identify practices likely to deliver sustainable intensification, currently available for UK farms but not yet widely adopted. We compiled a list of 18 farm management practices with the greatest potential to deliver sustainable intensification in the UK, following a well‐developed stepwise methodology for identifying priority solutions, using a group decision‐making technique with key agricultural experts. The list of priority management practices can provide the focal point of efforts to achieve sustainable intensification of agriculture, as the UK develops post‐Brexit agricultural policy, and pursues the second Sustainable Development Goal, which aims to end hunger and promote sustainable agriculture. The practices largely reflect a technological, production‐focused view of sustainable intensification, including for example, precision farming and animal health diagnostics, with less emphasis on the social and environmental aspects of sustainability. However, they do reflect an integrated approach to farming, covering many different aspects, from business organization and planning, to soil and crop management, to landscape and nature conservation. For a subset of 10 of the priority practices, we gathered data on the level of existing uptake in English and Welsh farms through a stratified survey in seven focal regions. We find substantial existing uptake of most of the priority practices, indicating that UK farming is an innovative sector. The data identify two specific practices for which uptake is relatively low, but which some UK farmers find appealing and would consider adopting. These practices are: prediction of pest and disease outbreaks, especially for livestock farms; staff training on environmental issues, especially on arable farms.

AB - Sustainable intensification is a process by which agricultural productivity is enhanced whilst also creating environmental and social benefits. We aimed to identify practices likely to deliver sustainable intensification, currently available for UK farms but not yet widely adopted. We compiled a list of 18 farm management practices with the greatest potential to deliver sustainable intensification in the UK, following a well‐developed stepwise methodology for identifying priority solutions, using a group decision‐making technique with key agricultural experts. The list of priority management practices can provide the focal point of efforts to achieve sustainable intensification of agriculture, as the UK develops post‐Brexit agricultural policy, and pursues the second Sustainable Development Goal, which aims to end hunger and promote sustainable agriculture. The practices largely reflect a technological, production‐focused view of sustainable intensification, including for example, precision farming and animal health diagnostics, with less emphasis on the social and environmental aspects of sustainability. However, they do reflect an integrated approach to farming, covering many different aspects, from business organization and planning, to soil and crop management, to landscape and nature conservation. For a subset of 10 of the priority practices, we gathered data on the level of existing uptake in English and Welsh farms through a stratified survey in seven focal regions. We find substantial existing uptake of most of the priority practices, indicating that UK farming is an innovative sector. The data identify two specific practices for which uptake is relatively low, but which some UK farmers find appealing and would consider adopting. These practices are: prediction of pest and disease outbreaks, especially for livestock farms; staff training on environmental issues, especially on arable farms.

U2 - 10.1002/fes3.148

DO - 10.1002/fes3.148

M3 - Article

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JO - Food and Energy Security

JF - Food and Energy Security

SN - 2048-3694

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