Working on sustainable agriculure
with “common sence”
initiatives to reduce nutrient losses, global warming
and food miles...
Personal Introduction
    Studied Animal production (specialized in animal nutrition)


    Worked for the Social Science...
Maximizing agricultural production and
profits
Negative Results
                         animal welfare
loss of biodiversity
                                            ...
Environmental Problems:
• Due to extreme intensive farming: too much animal
  manure and artificial fertilizer was applied...
Klara 34
Klara 34                                               Methane (CH4)

                                                    ...
but we forget….Klara 34 is grazing here




        Conflicts with nature- and landscape
or here…




           Conflicts with water quality
or here…




           Bolivia
MOVIE:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpxWmOmrdD8&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eduurzaamboerb
lijven%2Enl%2F&feature=player_embe...
Case study: Northern Frisian Woodlands
Regulation: less artificial fertilizer and the use
               of slit injection
Reducing ammonia volatilization
Reducing ammonia volatilization
 Theory
                    Farming
                    practice
Small percels, slit injection needed
bigger machines and application was not
done anymore by farmer themself!
Group of farmers started an environmental co-operative
                                                                   ...
“I apply less artificial fertilizer than the
extension services tell me to do. My soil
is more fertile because for all the...
Different Approach
• Within this group some (older) farmers had
  ideas about reducing N inputs:
  –   Working on better m...
Promising Farming Systems

                                                  1997

                    20%
               ...
Promising Farming Systems: Hoeksma’s farm




Importance of the soil, soilmanagement: ploughing, seeding, fertilization, e...
Promising Farming Systems: Hoeksma’s farm

      DRY MATTER YIELD




                               FERTILIZER
Project results

                    25%
                                                                                 ...
Results dissemination of (new) knowledge
 Very quick
    A practical advice was made for the application of

    fertili...
pauze
Analysing: What went wrong?
                     reductionistic approach

                                        optimum:...
Relation with artificial fertilizer
Netto kVEM intake by cows/ha
      14000


      12000

      10000
                  ...
Why this happened?

• Models were made within the “regime” of
  maximization of production (in each situation
  there has ...
The issue of Global warming
methane CH4= 21 x CO2




                        The cycle on the farm:
                     ...
Calculating N and P efficiency
  CONCENTRATE
                                                MILK + MEAT
  47- 273        ...
N, P and C Balance
                MINERAL BALANS

  IMPORT                         EXPORT
  CONCENTRATE                  ...
NH3 emission ↑
IMPORTED FEED
                             NN P
                              PC

                CH4 emiss...
Calculating ammount of “homngrown feed”



                                                 manure
  imported feed




   ...
Who are the farmers/farming systems with the
highest production of their own land?


            ???




                 ...
Promising Farming Systems: Hoeksma’s farm

      DRY MATTER YIELD




                               FERTILIZER
Characteristics of Innovating Farmers
•   Stubborn
•   Curious
•   Extensive social network
•   Open for new knowledge
•  ...
Change of the agriculture?!
                   (transition)


Change of thinking, rules, “new knowledge”, etc.
           ...
Creating (and facilitating)
     learning networks

                     extension
                     dienstverleners
  ...
Lessons
    Innovating farmers have integrated knowledge

    which can be very helpful for
    dissemination, research a...
Lessons
    Do not use 1 example farm (each has is own

    example)
    Make (simple) analysis to:

       - find innov...
Questions?


What can you do in your work
  to involve/make use of
    innovating farmers?
Farmers Box
Farmers Box
Presentatie IAC 5 Mei 2009
Presentatie IAC 5 Mei 2009
Presentatie IAC 5 Mei 2009
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Presentatie IAC 5 Mei 2009

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Presentatie gehouden voor de IAC cursus Agriculture in Transition met als titel "Towards sustainability: Nutrient cycles, farmer initiatives, and local markets"

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Presentatie IAC 5 Mei 2009

  1. 1. Working on sustainable agriculure with “common sence” initiatives to reduce nutrient losses, global warming and food miles Frank Verhoeven, Msc.
  2. 2. Personal Introduction Studied Animal production (specialized in animal nutrition)  Worked for the Social Sciences Department of Wageningen  University for 7 years Coordinated projects on: rural development, environmental  problems, farmers innovations and experimental knowledge All projects in close cooperation with farmers, government  officials, extension services, industry, etc. Coordinated parts of the Wageningen 5th of may festival from  1998 - 2003 2004: expert mission to Nicaragua (improving quality of milk by  knowledge exchange) 2005: start “Boerenverstand Consultancy” (farmers knowledge)  2008: joined ETC  sustainable dairy farming projects NL  2008: start new business: box with local products   www.boerenverstand.org
  3. 3. Maximizing agricultural production and profits
  4. 4. Negative Results animal welfare loss of biodiversity Climate change environmental problems diseases 1940 1960 1980 2000 Increase of food miles decrease no. farms increase of scale, intensification and specialisation
  5. 5. Environmental Problems: • Due to extreme intensive farming: too much animal manure and artificial fertilizer was applied. • High levels of ammonia votalisation • 100- 300 kg N too much per ha on grasslands. • Nitrate leaching to ground and surface water. • Government made strict regulations: reduction of N input and obligatory use of “slit injection” • Majority of the farmers thought it was impossible.
  6. 6. Klara 34
  7. 7. Klara 34 Methane (CH4) Artificial fertilizer 225 kg N/ha N2 manure: concentrate: 123,6 kg soy, grain,etc. N/year 1 acre here + 1 acre some- 11.503 kg milk/year where else 3,80 % fat 3,40 % protein 22 urea The optimal cow, the optimal fertilization, the optimal grassland.
  8. 8. but we forget….Klara 34 is grazing here Conflicts with nature- and landscape
  9. 9. or here… Conflicts with water quality
  10. 10. or here… Bolivia
  11. 11. MOVIE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpxWmOmrdD8&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eduurzaamboerb lijven%2Enl%2F&feature=player_embedded
  12. 12. Case study: Northern Frisian Woodlands
  13. 13. Regulation: less artificial fertilizer and the use of slit injection
  14. 14. Reducing ammonia volatilization
  15. 15. Reducing ammonia volatilization Theory Farming practice
  16. 16. Small percels, slit injection needed bigger machines and application was not done anymore by farmer themself!
  17. 17. Group of farmers started an environmental co-operative 42 15 27 17 38 7 44 50 33 45 13 53 28 12 9 59 23 56 8 2 46 49 20 51 34 55 57 39 18 16 60 22 29 41 54 30 47 43 40 19 3 21 6 24 5 4 10 58 25 26 1 31 14 52 11 36 37 35 48 32
  18. 18. “I apply less artificial fertilizer than the extension services tell me to do. My soil is more fertile because for all these years I’ve used improved animal manure. My cows produce the optimum amount of milk and not the maximum. Overall it costs me less and my crops and animals are more resistant against diseases”
  19. 19. Different Approach • Within this group some (older) farmers had ideas about reducing N inputs: – Working on better manure quality – Aplying manure “above soil” – Aplying less artificial fertilizer and only when needed – Stimulating soil life, working on soil Organic Matter – Different soil application (less ploughing) • Researchers and policy makers got involved. • Ideas (or reccomendations) of the farmers differed from the (models of the) researchers. • Technical solutions (machines, sheds) vs natural
  20. 20. Promising Farming Systems 1997 20% 1997 % los productores 18% % farms 16% 14% 12% 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0% <120 120- 140- 160- 180- 200- 220- 240- 260- 280- 300- 320- >340 140 160 180 200 220 240 260 280 300 320 340 --> kg N/ha from artificial fertilizer
  21. 21. Promising Farming Systems: Hoeksma’s farm Importance of the soil, soilmanagement: ploughing, seeding, fertilization, etc.
  22. 22. Promising Farming Systems: Hoeksma’s farm DRY MATTER YIELD FERTILIZER
  23. 23. Project results 25% 1997 2002 % los productores 20% % farms 15% 10% 5% 0% <120 120- 140- 160- 180- 200- 220- 240- 260- 280- 300- 320- >340 140 160 180 200 220 240 260 280 300 320 340 --> kg N/ha from artificial fertilizer
  24. 24. Results dissemination of (new) knowledge  Very quick A practical advice was made for the application of  fertilizer, specific for the region and type of soil Research (re)discovered the role of soil biology, the  importance of organic matter and the quality of animal manure. Feeding for good manure was made possible/  stimulated by new regulation
  25. 25. pauze
  26. 26. Analysing: What went wrong? reductionistic approach optimum: 300 kg nitrogen (N) per hectare on sandy grassland soils other factors determine the optimal amount of kg N/ha on the level of the farm: optimum 150 kg N
  27. 27. Relation with artificial fertilizer Netto kVEM intake by cows/ha 14000 12000 10000 R2 = 0! 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 Artificial fertilizer kg N/ha
  28. 28. Why this happened? • Models were made within the “regime” of maximization of production (in each situation there has to be enough fertilizer). • Extension and agri-business (supported by the government) followed the recommendations. • The model was only adjusted, but context totally changed. • Farmers knowledge was not taken into account.
  29. 29. The issue of Global warming methane CH4= 21 x CO2 The cycle on the farm: switch between the local and the global !
  30. 30. Calculating N and P efficiency CONCENTRATE MILK + MEAT 47- 273 ANIMAL EFF. 50 - 95 10-24% 80 % 15-50% FARM EFF. MANURE ROUGHAGE kg N/ha 252 - 468 196 - 398 35-70% LOSSES SOIL EFF. 168 - 439 kg N/ha 114 - 369 ARTIFICIAL MANURE
  31. 31. N, P and C Balance MINERAL BALANS IMPORT EXPORT CONCENTRATE MILK ROUGHAGE MEAT FERTILIZER SURPLUSS
  32. 32. NH3 emission ↑ IMPORTED FEED NN P PC CH4 emission ↑ NPC NP NPC MILK AND MEET EXPORTED efficiency ANIMAL MANURE NP NPC efficiency FARM HOMEGROWN FEED N emission ↑ NPC NP N2 emission ↑ efficiency SOIL NO3 losses ↓ P fixation – IMPORTED (ARTIFICIAL) MANURE C balans/Organic Matter NN P PC
  33. 33. Calculating ammount of “homngrown feed” manure imported feed homngrown feed Calculated as: Energy need livestock milk and meet - Energy imported feed = Energy homngrown feed
  34. 34. Who are the farmers/farming systems with the highest production of their own land? ??? Difference: 5000 kg Dry Matter/ha!
  35. 35. Promising Farming Systems: Hoeksma’s farm DRY MATTER YIELD FERTILIZER
  36. 36. Characteristics of Innovating Farmers • Stubborn • Curious • Extensive social network • Open for new knowledge • Travel a lot • Are inspired by other sectors • Experiment on their own farm They reach excellent results and their innovations are promising for the sector as a whole!
  37. 37. Change of the agriculture?! (transition) Change of thinking, rules, “new knowledge”, etc. (system innovation) Exchange of knowledge Farmer innovations
  38. 38. Creating (and facilitating) learning networks extension dienstverleners farmers industry organisation sectororganisaties agro-bedrijfsleven farmers boeren ?? ?? onderzoekers researchers policy makers beleidsmakers maatschappelijke local authorities organisaties
  39. 39. Lessons Innovating farmers have integrated knowledge  which can be very helpful for dissemination, research and policy. There is not a unique optimal model of  farming, there are often many ways to reach a goal. Collect (basic) data and make (simple) analysis to:  find innovating farmers; show differences and extract patterns. Combine farmers knowledge with scientific  knowledge. Create “learning networks” 
  40. 40. Lessons Do not use 1 example farm (each has is own  example) Make (simple) analysis to:  - find innovating farmers; - show differences between farmers in a region; - for learning purposes; - to extract patterns.
  41. 41. Questions? What can you do in your work to involve/make use of innovating farmers?
  42. 42. Farmers Box
  43. 43. Farmers Box

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