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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2000

Challenging targets for future agriculture

Kirchmann, Holger; Thorvaldsson, Gudni


This article points out the kinds of problems agriculture is facing, outlines and structures agricultural quality components and defined aims for them, discusses the shortcomings of organic farming, proposes some important research areas and presents an outlook. The quality components are a type of checklist of those factors that we should be aware of concerning protection of the environment, production of healthy food and the practice of good ethics. These components can be integrated into the general aims of sustainable agriculture. Many European and other countries focus on organic farming as a solution, but this approach is dangerous because it does not necessarily lead to a better environment or better food products. Concerning future agricultural research, the following issues are highly important: precision agriculture, low leaching cropping systems, management of soil biological processes and maximum recirculation. Finally, the article discusses some issues of future agriculture such as intensity, nutrient imbalances caused by regional farm specialisation, and the development of an agricultural quality assessment system. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.


sustainability; ecosystem protection; pesticides; water resources; leaching; soil fertility; soil pollutants; soil compaction; trace gas emissions; energy use; product quality; ethic; biodiversity; soil degradation; organic farming

Published in

European Journal of Agronomy
2000, Volume: 12, number: 3-4, pages: 145-161

    SLU Authors

    • Dödsbo, Holger

      • Department of Soil Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science
    Soil Science

    Publication Identifiers


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