Metrics for Agricultural Sustainability
Routledge – 2013 – 288 pages
Series: Earthscan Food and Agriculture
The confusing way in which sustainable agriculture has been defined and measured is clarified in this comprehensive volume, which provides an inventory of the metrics for sustainable agriculture from cradle to the farm gate, organized by media and scale.
Example metrics include change in soil organic carbon as an integrating metric for soil health, change in groundwater level as a metric of over-withdrawal, current and change in land use diversity as an integrating metric for biodiversity, and farm worker education as an integrating metric of social prosperity. These metrics are informative at the individual level, but are shown collectively to provide a more complete understanding of the risks and opportunities for innovation and consumer acceptance across agricultural and food production systems.
The book describes the process of integrating metrics into indices for decision-making, with examples from the US, Europe, and Asia.
Part 1: Metrics and Indices of Sustainability 1. Demand for Metrics and Indicators for Sustainable Agriculture 2. Purpose for Metrics 3. Purpose for Indicators 4. Metrics and Indicators in Life Cycle Assessment Part 2: Environmental Metrics 5. Soil Metrics 6. Water Metrics 7. Atmospheric Metrics 8. Biodiversity Metrics Part 3: Social Metrics 9. Health and Welfare of Workers/Farmers 10. Prosperity of Workers/Farmers 11. Prosperity of Communities Part 4: Scale Considerations for Metrics and Indices 12. Field 13. Watershed 14. Ecoregion Part 5: Metrics for Agricultural Systems 15. Row Crops 16. Specialty Crops 17. Animal Agriculture Part 6: Applications of Metrics for Sustainable Agriculture 18. The Challenge of Measuring What Matters 19: Agricultural Sustainability Metrics Initiatives 20. Agricultural Sustainability Certification Initiatives Appendix A: Global Sustainability Initiatives Appendix B: US Sustainability Initiatives Appendix C: EU Sustainability Initiatives
Marty D. Matlock is Area Director, Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability, and
Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, at the University of Arkansas, USA.