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Irrigation in EU agriculture

13-12-2019

Irrigation is the provision of water to help crops grow when rainfall is not sufficient. While new farming methods and technologies allow some types of crops to be grown without soil, a certain amount of water is needed to grow any kind of crop. In today's economy, agriculture is one of the sectors that consumes the most water resources. Irrigation is the major cause of water consumption in agriculture. It contributes to increasing crop productivity, but it is also a threat to the preservation of ...

Irrigation is the provision of water to help crops grow when rainfall is not sufficient. While new farming methods and technologies allow some types of crops to be grown without soil, a certain amount of water is needed to grow any kind of crop. In today's economy, agriculture is one of the sectors that consumes the most water resources. Irrigation is the major cause of water consumption in agriculture. It contributes to increasing crop productivity, but it is also a threat to the preservation of water resources. Therefore, the issue of water scarcity requires careful reflection on the trade-off between higher agricultural productivity and the deterioration of water resources. A number of elements determine the amount of irrigation water used in agriculture, from the types of crop and cropping method to the characteristics of the soil and the irrigation technique, to name just a few. Therefore, agriculture itself provides opportunities for better water management and water savings, through both traditional farm practices and new farming technologies. Irrigation has been a feature of European agriculture for thousands of years. Not surprisingly, the majority of irrigated agricultural areas are in the EU’s southern regions, in particular in Spain and Italy. However, there are areas equipped for irrigation elsewhere, especially in the Netherlands. Over 40 % of the EU's water use is on agriculture, and most of the freshwater abstraction is for agricultural use in countries like Greece, Spain, and Cyprus. Prolonged periods of drought in many parts of the Union, the effects of climate change and pollution, as well as competition over use add further pressure on EU waters. Ensuring food security in view of climate change requires improvement in water-management capacity, including making users (farmers) more responsible. In recent times, the environmental performance of sectoral policies, such as in the area of agriculture, is increasingly scrutinised by citizens, stakeholders, and policy-makers. Various EU policy initiatives have been launched to address the challenge of sustainable water use in agriculture, including a more integrated approach to water management, water re-use, research and innovation, and more environmental ambition in the agricultural policy. Better policy coordination between EU policies and actions is seen as key to achieving the sustainable safeguarding of EU waters.

Organic production and the European Union

16-02-2015

Organic agriculture views itself as respecting natural cycles by refraining from the use of genetically modified organisms, by limiting the use of synthetic chemical products and by ensuring animal welfare. Organic production, regulated and supported at EU level, is controlled, certified and labelled. The specifications list also adapts to different kinds of production. Initially a niche market, organic agriculture now represents a European market worth more than EUR 22 billion a year, with demand ...

Organic agriculture views itself as respecting natural cycles by refraining from the use of genetically modified organisms, by limiting the use of synthetic chemical products and by ensuring animal welfare. Organic production, regulated and supported at EU level, is controlled, certified and labelled. The specifications list also adapts to different kinds of production. Initially a niche market, organic agriculture now represents a European market worth more than EUR 22 billion a year, with demand continuing to increase. The organic sector, seeking a vision for the future, must respond to certain challenges, particularly in its coexistence with conventional agriculture, but also in terms of producer and consumer confidence in the system and its values, in a context of growing international exchanges. In March 2014, the European Commission proposed to revise the entire legislative framework of the organic sector, in particular with the aim of reducing the current derogation practices, reviewing the control system and the import regime, simplifying the legislation and cutting down on the red tape. Some initial reactions to these proposals seem rather critical. The first reading legislative appraisal has started in the European Parliament, but the announcement of the new "Juncker Commission" of its intention to withdraw this proposal by mid-2015 should an agreement not be reached by then could change the context.

Small Farms

16-04-2014

The European Parliament resolution on the future of small agricultural holdings highlights the role of small farms in preserving Europe’s countryside and biodiversity, as well as their role in preserving local manufacturing traditions and products, and providing a livelihood for millions of Europeans. It also highlights the difficulties of establishing a single universal definition of what constitutes a small farm.

The European Parliament resolution on the future of small agricultural holdings highlights the role of small farms in preserving Europe’s countryside and biodiversity, as well as their role in preserving local manufacturing traditions and products, and providing a livelihood for millions of Europeans. It also highlights the difficulties of establishing a single universal definition of what constitutes a small farm.

Precision Agriculture: An Opportunity for EU-Farmers – Potential Support with the CAP 2014-2020

14-03-2014

Precision Agriculture (PA) is a whole-farm management approach using information technology, satellite positioning (GNSS) data, remote sensing and proximal data gathering. These technologies have the goal of optimising returns on inputs whilst potentially reducing environmental impacts. The state-of-the-art of PA on arable land, permanent crops and within dairy farming are reviewed, mainly in the European context, together with some economic aspects of the adoption of PA. Options to address PA adoption ...

Precision Agriculture (PA) is a whole-farm management approach using information technology, satellite positioning (GNSS) data, remote sensing and proximal data gathering. These technologies have the goal of optimising returns on inputs whilst potentially reducing environmental impacts. The state-of-the-art of PA on arable land, permanent crops and within dairy farming are reviewed, mainly in the European context, together with some economic aspects of the adoption of PA. Options to address PA adoption are discussed, including measures within the CAP 2014-2020 legislation and the important contribution of advisory services across Europe.

Údar seachtarach

Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission , Pablo J. Zarco-Tejada, Neil Hubbard and Philippe Loudjani (Monitoring Agriculture ResourceS (MARS) Unit H04)

Afghan opium production reaches record high

15-01-2014

Afghan opium production increased 49% in 2013, reaching a record high. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), potential production was even higher, limited only by unfavourable weather conditions, while eradication efforts diminished. The drug trade helps sustain the military conflict and, with presidential elections in 2014 as well as the planned draw-down of foreign troops, it could contribute to an escalation in coming years.

Afghan opium production increased 49% in 2013, reaching a record high. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), potential production was even higher, limited only by unfavourable weather conditions, while eradication efforts diminished. The drug trade helps sustain the military conflict and, with presidential elections in 2014 as well as the planned draw-down of foreign troops, it could contribute to an escalation in coming years.

Plant Breeding and Innovative Agriculture (Part of the Project ''Technology options for feeding 10 billion people')

15-10-2013

In the frame of the STOA project “Technology options for feeding 10 billion people”, this report analyse how farming management concepts, practices and technologies, including plant breeding, could enable sustainable intensification of crop production, with the aim to increase food production and support food supply. The aim of sustainable intensification is to produce more food from the same area of land while reducing the environmental impacts, under social and economic beneficial conditions. The ...

In the frame of the STOA project “Technology options for feeding 10 billion people”, this report analyse how farming management concepts, practices and technologies, including plant breeding, could enable sustainable intensification of crop production, with the aim to increase food production and support food supply. The aim of sustainable intensification is to produce more food from the same area of land while reducing the environmental impacts, under social and economic beneficial conditions. The study addresses agriculture in developing countries as well as in industrialized countries (Europe), small-scale and large-scale farming, extensive and intensive agricultural production systems, and low and high tech production practices. The main topics are: - Reducing yield gaps – sustainable intensification and improving crop management; - Increasing yield potentials – plant breeding; - Reducing crop losses – improving harvest and postharvest procedures. For these topics, options for action are identified and discussed.

Údar seachtarach

Rolf Meyer (ITAS, Karlsruhe, Germany), Tomas Ratinger (Technology Centre ASCR, Prague, Czech Republic) and Kai Peter Voss-Fels (University of Gieβen, Germany)

The Environmental Role of Protein Crops in the New Common Agricultural Policy

15-05-2013

This study provides an overview of the development and environmental effects of protein crop production in Europe. Nine policy options for supporting protein crops are presented: six inside the CAP, and three outside. We recommend an integrated policy approach combining the inclusion of protein crops into greening measures, investment in research and constraints on the use of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser. We conclude that increasing the production of protein crops would be an important contribution ...

This study provides an overview of the development and environmental effects of protein crop production in Europe. Nine policy options for supporting protein crops are presented: six inside the CAP, and three outside. We recommend an integrated policy approach combining the inclusion of protein crops into greening measures, investment in research and constraints on the use of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser. We conclude that increasing the production of protein crops would be an important contribution to the sustainable development of European agricultural and food systems.

Údar seachtarach

Andrea Bues, Sara Preißel, Moritz Reckling and Peter Zander (Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research - ZALF) , Tom Kuhlman (Agricultural Economics Research Institute - LEI) , Kairsty Topp and Christine Watson (Scotland's Rural College - SRUC) , Kristina Lindström and Fred L. Stoddard (University of Helsinki - UH) and Donal Murphy-Bokern (Kroge-Ehrendorf, Lohne)

The Impact of Biotechnology on Developing Countries

14-02-2013

Modified (GM) crops are increasingly grown in developing countries and can lead to socioeconomic benefits and costs depending on where and how they are adopted. After examining conventional assessments of farm-level indicators such as: yield increase, pesticide costs, farmers' incomes from GM crops, the paper goes on to argue that a variety of structural issues at the national and international level have to be considered in order to obtain a comprehensive picture on the potential which GM crops ...

Modified (GM) crops are increasingly grown in developing countries and can lead to socioeconomic benefits and costs depending on where and how they are adopted. After examining conventional assessments of farm-level indicators such as: yield increase, pesticide costs, farmers' incomes from GM crops, the paper goes on to argue that a variety of structural issues at the national and international level have to be considered in order to obtain a comprehensive picture on the potential which GM crops have to enhance food security in developing countries. Hence, the paper further explores the relationship between GM crops and biodiversity against the backdrop of agro-ecology as a potentially beneficial concept for smallholders in developing countries.

Údar seachtarach

Timo KAPHENGST (Ecologic Institute, Germany) and Lucy SMITH (Ecologic Institute, Germany)

Future Policy Options for EU Beet Production : Quotas - Yes or No ?

14-09-2012

Abolishment of EU sugar quotas will lead to lower sugar and sugar beet prices in the EU, leading to lower margins for farms. At the same time, expansion of sugar beet growing and processing in a quota-free situation can decrease fixed cost per ha of sugar beet and per kg of sugar, making both sugar beet growing and processing more efficient. Besides, lower sugar price levels will make Europe a more attractive continent for investments by sugar-based industries.

Abolishment of EU sugar quotas will lead to lower sugar and sugar beet prices in the EU, leading to lower margins for farms. At the same time, expansion of sugar beet growing and processing in a quota-free situation can decrease fixed cost per ha of sugar beet and per kg of sugar, making both sugar beet growing and processing more efficient. Besides, lower sugar price levels will make Europe a more attractive continent for investments by sugar-based industries.

Údar seachtarach

A.B. SMIT and J.F.M. HELMING

The evaluation of the impact of reforms that have affected the sector and the needs of European livestock system

22-10-2010

The protein crop sector plays a strategic role in the agro-food chain and has positive environmental effects. Nevertheless, production has dramatically fallen in last five years. This note outlines the implications of the decline in protein crop production on EU livestock’s competitiveness and describes the main issues pertinent to EU policy options in the post 2013 scenario.

The protein crop sector plays a strategic role in the agro-food chain and has positive environmental effects. Nevertheless, production has dramatically fallen in last five years. This note outlines the implications of the decline in protein crop production on EU livestock’s competitiveness and describes the main issues pertinent to EU policy options in the post 2013 scenario.

Údar seachtarach

Ms Alessandra PESCE - INEA (Istituto Nazionale di Economia Agraria)

Imeachtaí atá ar na bacáin

26-10-2020
European Gender Equality Week - October 26-29, 2020
Imeacht eile -
FEMM
26-10-2020
Joint LIBE - FEMM Hearing on Trafficking in human beings
Éisteacht -
LIBE FEMM
27-10-2020
EPRS online Book Talk | Beyond Christendom - The politics of religion in Europe today
Imeacht eile -
EPRS

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