Agro Transfert Ressources et Territoires

La Chaussée-Saint-Victor, France

Agro Transfert Ressources et Territoires

La Chaussée-Saint-Victor, France
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Alaphilippe A.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Boissy J.,Agro Transfert Ressources et Territoires | Simon S.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Godard C.,Agro Transfert Ressources et Territoires
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2016

While the management of apple orchards is intensifying through high tree density, heavy input use and short lifespan, growers in some traditional production areas keep on planting semi-extensive orchards. We assessed the environmental impacts of those two contrasted production systems using the last methodological recommendations for Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) in perennial crops. The use of such framework permitted to assess the weight of the unproductive stages in the orchard lifespan impacts, and the contribution of fertiliser direct field emissions to the total impacts.Mainly due to fertilisation, the intensive orchard displayed the higher environmental impacts over the orchard lifespan for all calculated impact categories except energy demand. Fertilisation, including fertiliser production and application, represented half or more of the calculated impact categories in the intensive orchard, attesting to the importance of taking these field emissions into account and to include the N-tree requirements in the calculation. Methodological considerations are discussed and the necessity to explicit the approach used to account for the duration of perennial cropping systems is also outlined. Unproductive stages weighted from 9 to 21% of the studied impact categories in the semi-extensive orchard and from 13 to 28% in the intensive orchard, with little contribution of the nursery stage (from 0.2 to 2.6%). This study outlines that orchard strategies (management and design) perform differently according to the context that constrains tree water need and pest and disease control. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Cadoux S.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Cadoux S.,Agro ParisTech | Ferchaud F.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Demay C.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | And 8 more authors.
GCB Bioenergy | Year: 2014

Biomass from dedicated crops is expected to contribute significantly to the replacement of fossil resources. However, sustainable bioenergy cropping systems must provide high biomass production and low environmental impacts. This study aimed at quantifying biomass production, nutrient removal, expected ethanol production, and greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of six bioenergy crops: Miscanthus × giganteus, switchgrass, fescue, alfalfa, triticale, and fiber sorghum. Biomass production and N, P, K balances (input-output) were measured during 4 years in a long-term experiment, which included two nitrogen fertilization treatments. These results were used to calculate a posteriori 'optimized' fertilization practices, which would ensure a sustainable production with a nil balance of nutrients. A modified version of the cost/benefit approach proposed by Crutzen et al. (2008), comparing the GHG emissions resulting from N-P-K fertilization of bioenergy crops and the GHG emissions saved by replacing fossil fuel, was applied to these 'optimized' situations. Biomass production varied among crops between 10.0 (fescue) and 26.9 t DM ha-1 yr-1 (miscanthus harvested early) and the expected ethanol production between 1.3 (alfalfa) and 6.1 t ha-1 yr-1 (miscanthus harvested early). The cost/benefit ratio ranged from 0.10 (miscanthus harvested late) to 0.71 (fescue); it was closely correlated with the N/C ratio of the harvested biomass, except for alfalfa. The amount of saved CO2 emissions varied from 1.0 (fescue) to 8.6 t CO2eq ha-1 yr-1 (miscanthus harvested early or late). Due to its high biomass production, miscanthus was able to combine a high production of ethanol and a large saving of CO2 emissions. Miscanthus and switchgrass harvested late gave the best compromise between low N-P-K requirements, high GHG saving per unit of biomass, and high productivity per hectare. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Godard C.,Agro Transfert Ressources et Territoires | Boissy J.,Agro Transfert Ressources et Territoires | Gabrielle B.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research
GCB Bioenergy | Year: 2013

The use of life cycle assessment (LCA) as a comprehensive tool to assess environmental impacts of bioenergies is recommended. Nevertheless, several methodological points remain under debate, particularly regarding the feedstock production step, which is a key stage of bioenergy chains. The present work focuses on field emissions during feedstock production, improving assessment methods by the use of process-based models. To do so, a real bioenergy chain, the local feedstock supply for a boiler located in northern France, was studied. The LCA compares flax shives, (the reference) with four other biomass sources: Miscanthus, cereal straw, linseed straw, and triticale as a whole plant. Six feedstock supply scenarios were also compared. The study aimed to test a new LCA methodology for agricultural chains by integrating local characteristics (such as climate, soil, and crop management data) and using models to estimate field dynamics of pesticide emissions and soil organic carbon (SOC). Results showed that flax shives and linseed straw had the lowest impacts, except for global warming: as a consequence, supply scenarios with the largest share of flax shives had the lowest impacts. For all selected impact categories, transportation and fertilization were the main contributors. SOC dynamics led to high C sequestration level (e.g. with Miscanthus) or to high CO 2 emissions level (e.g. with flax shives), thus significantly influencing the global warming impact. Sensitivity analysis showed a large influence of allocation method (economic or mass-based). This study demonstrated the relevance of integrating simulation models using local data in agricultural LCAs, especially for dynamics of SOC and pesticide from fields. Moreover, this work brought scientific elements to support the choice of flax shives as the main biomass feedstock, and the ranking of the other sources as alternative biomass supplies for the boiler. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Boizard H.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Peigne J.,ISARA Lyon | Sasal M.C.,Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria | de Fatima Guimaraes M.,State University Londrina | And 11 more authors.
Soil and Tillage Research | Year: 2016

In France, agronomists have studied the effects of cropping systems on soil structure using a field method that is based on a visual description of the soil structure. This "profil cultural" method was designed as a field diagnostic tool to identify the effects of tillage and compaction on soil structure dynamics. It is of great benefit to agronomists seeking to improve crop management and preserve soil structure and fertility.However, the "profil cultural" method was developed and has mainly been used in conventional tillage systems with regular ploughing. As there has been an increase in the use of various forms of reduced, minimum and no-tillage systems in many parts of the world, it is necessary to re-evaluate this method's ability to describe and interpret soil structure dynamics in no-till or reduced tillage. In these situations, changes in soil structure over time are mainly driven by compaction and by regeneration through natural agents (climatic conditions, root growth and macrofauna), therefore it is important to evaluate the effects of these natural processes on soil structure dynamics.These concerns have led to adaptations and amendments to the initial method based on field observations and experimental work in different cropping systems, soil types and climatic conditions. The description of crack types has been improved and a criterion of biological activity based on the visual examination of clods has been introduced.To test this modified method, a comparison with the initial method was undertaken and its ability to make diagnoses tested in five experiments in France, Brazil and Argentina. The adapted method allowed an improved assessment of the impact of cropping systems on soil functioning when natural processes were integrated into the description. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

Labalette F.,University Paris Est Creteil | Lande N.,Cetiom | Wagner D.,Cetiom | Roux-Duparque M.,Agro transfert Ressources et Territoires | Saillet E.,University Paris Est Creteil
OCL - Oleagineux Corps Gras Lipides | Year: 2011

Linseed oil crop production does not succeed in reaching stable acreage in France and does not meet the demand coming from users which incorporate linseeds, which display high content in omega 3 (alpha-linolenic acid), in animal feeding in order to deliver food enriched in omega 3 by natural way (dairy products, eggs, ham...). However, several driving forces should encourage this crop, like the shortfall in linseeds in the European Union and the environmental changes expected from agriculture. That is why the French oilseed crop organisation (Onidol) and the French technical institute for oilseed crops (Cetiom) launched in 2008 a study about the linseed situation in France. Aim of this work was to get a better understanding of each stage of the linseed chain production from the linseed cultivation to the users and to draw perspectives for the future of this crop in France. To do that a large survey was carried out according to methods adapted to each considered sector. A great attention was given to the progress of the variety offer because the yield gap between linseed and other crops in the rotation is probably one of the most important factors explaining the crop stagnation in France. The synthesis presented in the present paper allows identifying encouraging signals for the future and points the major drawbacks to overcome and the main advantages to take advantage from for developing linseed in France.

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