Arable cropping systems
Globally, there are a large number of arable cropping systems based mainlyon the climatic conditions and land types/topography (e.g., dryland/upland, wetland-dryland/upland, and wetland), leading to the adoption of different cropping patterns (e.g., cereal only, cereal-legume, and cereal-vegetable). Arable crops are mainly associated with tillage-related cultivation systems, which vary from region to region, and are among the most important land uses influencing soil properties and causing environmental and ecological degradation.
Land use (cereals, vegetables, etc.), soil/land types and management practices (inorganic and organic fertilizers, as well as addition of organic residues) within a system controls the extent of emission of GHGs, air pollution and leaching losses. Inappropriate cropping and cultivation techniques, as well as excessive use of fertilizers, can exacerbate these problems. Many soils may be susceptible to erosion, and the loss of organic matter leading to poor structure, biodiversity loss, and pollution due to pesticides and herbicide residues and the accumulation of heavy metals. This session will therefore focus on research work in arable cropping systems that have assessed potential solutions to coupled air, water and soil pollution.
Current economical and structural changes in agriculture are associated with both the intensification of existing land uses as well as land use change. Management practices associated with agricultural systems and the resultant environmental consequences for soil, water, air, and biodiversity must be addressed in a sustainable manner and socioeconomically viable ways. Compared to single measures, integration of several measures and/or whole farm or systems approach might be necessary to maximise any benefits, but a clear understanding, as well as the environmental and agricultural benefits of the proposed measures is still limited. In addition to mitigation options for GHGs and environmental pollution, the implications of cross-compliance measures relating to the impact on farming systems and economic costs are also unclear.
System-based long-term research is required to directly compare different management and mitigation strategies, identify the key environmental drivers and their socio-economic implications. There are substantial economic challenges facing the farming community, requiring assurance of financial benefits while imposing a less detrimental impact on the quality of the environment. Therefore, a clear socially acceptable and effective way to improve farm incomes while protecting the environment, is required and this will be the focus of this session.
This session of the symposium will address weather and climate related impacts on agriculture, as well as the processes that mediate these impacts. In this session, interdisciplinary studies underlying soil-vegetation-atmosphere transfer (SVAT) of greenhouse gases and water, as well as research on adaptation to extreme weather and novel risks (e.g. from insect pests and disease) due to climate change will be addressed.
This theme is organized by the Joint Working Group on Applied Agrometeorology (AGMET) of Ireland. The research under this theme addresses the challenges in integrating climate and meteorological insights into agricultural management and adaptation to climate change. The session features research on extreme weather events, adaptation to climate change, soil-vegetation-atmosphere transfer (SVAT), soil processes as mediated by weather events, and other research that showcases the use of meteorological or climate data for applications in land management including risk assessment (e.g. for disease spread). Research on forecast systems, and other weather-related decisions support is very welcome. To develop a place-based understanding of meteorological impacts on farming systems, farmer involvement in the gathering of meteorological data could also be discussed as well as the modelling of the spatio-temporal variation in meteorological conditions to fill in sparse weather data (as e.g. done in the MÉRA: climate re-analysis dataset produced by MetEireann). A well-developed understanding of climate drivers of soil and vegetation processes as well a good understanding as to how an altered climate may affect agriculture is needed for sustainable agricultural and land-based energy systems.