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Freibauer A.,Institute of Agricultural Climate Research | Mathijs E.,Catholic University of Leuven | Brunori G.,University of Pisa | Damianova Z.,Programme Director Innovation Programme Applied Research and Communications Fund | And 4 more authors.

Sustainable Food Consumption and Production in a Resource-constrained World This article summarises the findings of the Third Foresight Exercise organised by the EU Standing Committee on Agriculture Research (SCAR). The challenges ahead for the European agri-food system differ in their complexity, scale and speed to those we have faced in the past, pointing to a new level of change. The interconnections between these combined challenges and the limited understanding of the various feedback loops linking them, contribute to uncertainty about future developments. There is growing evidence, however, that these challenges are so large that a 'business-as usual' approach is not an option and that transformative change is needed which will open up a window for innovation, new ideas and new paradigms. Three pathways have been identified to guide the transition to a sustainable agri-food system: consumption changes, technological innovation and organisational innovation. To make the transition successful, research and innovation programmes should be transformed in order to tackle these challenges and to produce the necessary system innovations. Diversity of approaches and paradigms, transdisciplinarity, experimentation in both the technological and social realm and coordination should be promoted in the design of the research and innovation programmes. © 2011 The Agricultural Economics Society and the European Association of Agricultural Economists. Source

Marsal J.,Irrigation Technology IRTA | Casadesus J.,Irrigation Technology IRTA | Lopez G.,Irrigation Technology IRTA | Girona J.,Irrigation Technology IRTA | Stockle C.O.,Washington State University
Acta Horticulturae

Accurate prediction of a crop coefficient (Kc) is necessary for proper irrigation management. We explored the use of a computer-based model, CropSyst, for determining irrigation requirements of 'Conference' pear trees and we assessed the accuracy of Kc predictions. Values of Kc were compared to those obtained, over 2002-2010, from lysimeter-grown trees. Lysimeter data over the years indicated weak Kc response to the increase of tree size with age. CropSyst predicted irrigation requirements using tree light interception and water uptake sub-model components. The most important parameters in CropSyst to determine Kc are: full canopy Kc (Kc,fc), and canopy porosity. Parameters of the model were adjusted using data obtained from the lysimeter in 2010. Using the parameterization of 2010, we found poor agreement between simulated and measured Kc over different seasons (2002-2009). The main reason for poor agreement was attributed to yearly changes in the Kc,fc parameter. When Kc,fc was yearly adjusted so that differences between observed and simulated Kc were minimized, it was observed that Kc,fc decreased with tree age. Therefore the lack of agreement between tree size and Kc was attributed to a decreased capacity for consuming water with tree age. In conclusion, irrigation scheduling methods to be applied to 'Conference' pear orchards shouldn't only rely on canopy light interception. Source

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