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Precision Agriculture and the Future of Farming in Europe

22-12-2016

This study resulted in the identification of four main future opportunities and concerns regarding precision agriculture (PA), or precision farming, in the EU, on which the European Parliament could take anticipatory action now: 1.  PA can actively contribute to food security and safety; 2.  PA supports sustainable farming; 3.  PA will trigger societal changes along with its uptake; 4.  PA requires new skills to be learned. The wide diversity of agriculture throughout the EU, regarding particularly ...

This study resulted in the identification of four main future opportunities and concerns regarding precision agriculture (PA), or precision farming, in the EU, on which the European Parliament could take anticipatory action now: 1.  PA can actively contribute to food security and safety; 2.  PA supports sustainable farming; 3.  PA will trigger societal changes along with its uptake; 4.  PA requires new skills to be learned. The wide diversity of agriculture throughout the EU, regarding particularly farm size, types of farming, farming practices, output and employment, presents a challenge for European policy-makers. European policy measures therefore should differentiate between Member States, taking into account that the opportunities and concerns vary highly from one country to another.

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.

Autor externo

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

Foresight ? Contribution to the debate on the future of EU agricultural policy

28-08-2017

Strategic foresight is increasingly being used as a technique to help organisations anticipate and prepare for potential challenges or opportunities. Its application to agricultural and rural development policies is examined in this briefing. A range of relevant foresight studies are identified and examined across a number of elements, covering: the identification of key drivers of change; the nature of the scenarios they present (including the role of technology and precision farming); and food ...

Strategic foresight is increasingly being used as a technique to help organisations anticipate and prepare for potential challenges or opportunities. Its application to agricultural and rural development policies is examined in this briefing. A range of relevant foresight studies are identified and examined across a number of elements, covering: the identification of key drivers of change; the nature of the scenarios they present (including the role of technology and precision farming); and food security as well as the territorial dimensions relating to the future of Europe’s rural areas. These findings are analysed for their implications for future policy-making in respect of EU agriculture and rural development matters. In the field of public policy, there is a growing realisation that the policy process has to address many challenges such as: advancing greater policy integration; identifying and applying the lessons from previous experience of policy implementation; maximising the use of the available evidence base, and considering and adopting a long-term view of the future through forward thinking involving the development of different scenarios. Foresight studies recognise the multi-disciplinary nature of the challenges facing agriculture and the importance of 'interconnected policy-making'. The potential also exists for strategic foresight to be applied at different territorial levels.

What if intensification of farming could enhance biodiversity?

06-03-2017

Could introducing more precision agriculture in Europe allow us to obtain food resilience, while ensuring sustainability and jobs, and taking into account the EU’s wide agricultural diversity? Precision agriculture (PA), or precision farming, involves using technology to improve the ratio between agricultural output (usually food) and agricultural input (land, energy, water, fertilisers, pesticides, etc.). PA consists of using sensors to identify crop or livestock needs precisely (in space or time ...

Could introducing more precision agriculture in Europe allow us to obtain food resilience, while ensuring sustainability and jobs, and taking into account the EU’s wide agricultural diversity? Precision agriculture (PA), or precision farming, involves using technology to improve the ratio between agricultural output (usually food) and agricultural input (land, energy, water, fertilisers, pesticides, etc.). PA consists of using sensors to identify crop or livestock needs precisely (in space or time), and then intervening in a targeted way to maximise the productivity of each plant and animal, whilst minimising any waste of resources.

Research for AGRI Committee - Policy support for productivity vs. sustainability in EU agriculture: Towards viable farming and green growth

16-01-2017

This study presents the main trends in total factor and resource productivity in recent decades. The main pathways for sustainable intensification are explored through case studies and policy analysis. The paper presents a normative analysis of policy tools able to reconcile productivity and sustainability requirements and also provides policy recommendations to promote a resource-efficient, productive, climate-friendly and resilient EU agricultural sector.

This study presents the main trends in total factor and resource productivity in recent decades. The main pathways for sustainable intensification are explored through case studies and policy analysis. The paper presents a normative analysis of policy tools able to reconcile productivity and sustainability requirements and also provides policy recommendations to promote a resource-efficient, productive, climate-friendly and resilient EU agricultural sector.

Autor externo

Annalisa Zezza, Roberto Henke, Mara Lai, Gaetana Petriccione, Roberto Solazzo, Alberto Sturla, Anna Vagnozzi, Silvia Vanino, Laura Viganò, Bert Smit, Ruud van der Meer and Krijn Poppe,Marcos Lana, Meike Weltin, Annette Piorr

Research for the AGRI Committee - The Consequences of Climate Change for EU Agriculture: Follow-Up to the COP21 UN Paris Climate Change Conference

15-02-2017

This report reviews and discusses the implications for the agriculture sector of the COP21 UN Paris climate change conference and the recent EU climate policy proposals for 2030. It looks specifically at the role that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) plays in supporting climate action within the agriculture sector and considers how the CAP might evolve post 2020 to support the agricultural sector in reducing GHG emissions and adapting to climate change.

This report reviews and discusses the implications for the agriculture sector of the COP21 UN Paris climate change conference and the recent EU climate policy proposals for 2030. It looks specifically at the role that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) plays in supporting climate action within the agriculture sector and considers how the CAP might evolve post 2020 to support the agricultural sector in reducing GHG emissions and adapting to climate change.

Autor externo

Kaley Hart, Ben Allen, Clunie Keenleyside, Silvia Nanni, Anne Maréchal, Kamila Paquel, Martin Nesbit and Julia Ziemann

Research for AGRI Committee - CAP implementation: Flexibility given to Member States - state of play and perspectives

15-05-2017

This study discusses flexibility of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) from various angles. The current flexibility does not create major conflicts with the objectives of the CAP. It makes decision-making more dispersed over the Member States, but also more effective. There may be small adverse effects on the level playing field. On the positive side, flexibility allows Member States to address specific problems and pursue heterogeneous and/or geographically bound goals. This should be regarded ...

This study discusses flexibility of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) from various angles. The current flexibility does not create major conflicts with the objectives of the CAP. It makes decision-making more dispersed over the Member States, but also more effective. There may be small adverse effects on the level playing field. On the positive side, flexibility allows Member States to address specific problems and pursue heterogeneous and/or geographically bound goals. This should be regarded as bounded targeting, not renationalisation.

Autor externo

Ida Terluin, Petra Berkhout, Tuomas Kuhmonen

Research for AGRI Committee - Preserving agricultural soils in the EU

15-03-2017

This study explains how threats to soils and soil services are linked to agricultural soil management, how threats can be mitigated, and which barriers complicate this. It highlights trade-offs and synergies that exist between different interests affected by soil management, such as climate change mitigation, water and air quality, biodiversity, food security and farm income. Conservation of peatland and extensive agro-forestry systems, and protecting soils against sealing, erosion and compaction ...

This study explains how threats to soils and soil services are linked to agricultural soil management, how threats can be mitigated, and which barriers complicate this. It highlights trade-offs and synergies that exist between different interests affected by soil management, such as climate change mitigation, water and air quality, biodiversity, food security and farm income. Conservation of peatland and extensive agro-forestry systems, and protecting soils against sealing, erosion and compaction are ranked as highest priorities. Potential policy elements are suggested.

Autor externo

H.F.M. ten Berge, J.J. Schröder, J.E. Olesen, J.-V. Giraldez Cervera

Investigación para la comisión AGRI – Reforma de la PAC después de 2020 - Retos agrícolas

14-10-2016

Este documento se elaboró para el seminario «Reflexiones sobre los desafíos agrícolas en la Unión después de 2020 y la preparación de la siguiente reforma de la PAC», del 8 de noviembre de 2016, organizado por la Comisión de Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural (AGRI) del Parlamento Europeo y su Departamento Temático (AGRI Research). Contiene tres estudios: 1. The future of direct payments (El futuro de los pagos directos, elaborado por Alan Matthews). 2. The future of market measures and risk management ...

Este documento se elaboró para el seminario «Reflexiones sobre los desafíos agrícolas en la Unión después de 2020 y la preparación de la siguiente reforma de la PAC», del 8 de noviembre de 2016, organizado por la Comisión de Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural (AGRI) del Parlamento Europeo y su Departamento Temático (AGRI Research). Contiene tres estudios: 1. The future of direct payments (El futuro de los pagos directos, elaborado por Alan Matthews). 2. The future of market measures and risk management schemes (El futuro de la intervención en el mercado y de los regímenes de gestión de riesgos, elaborado por Louis-Pascal Mahé y Jean-Christophe Bureau). 3. The future of rural development (El futuro del desarrollo rural, elaborado por Thomas Dax y Andrew Copus).

Autor externo

Alan Matthews, Louis Pascal Mahé, Jean-Christophe Bureau, Thomas Dax and Andrew Copus

Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture

20-12-2016

This study reviews existing scientific evidence regarding the impact of organic food on human health from an EU perspective, with a focus on public health. The development of environmentally sustainable and healthy food systems is an international priority. The study examines how organic food and organic agriculture can contribute to this in relation to public health. Human and animal studies directly addressing the health effects of organic food are reviewed. Furthermore, evidence linking principles ...

This study reviews existing scientific evidence regarding the impact of organic food on human health from an EU perspective, with a focus on public health. The development of environmentally sustainable and healthy food systems is an international priority. The study examines how organic food and organic agriculture can contribute to this in relation to public health. Human and animal studies directly addressing the health effects of organic food are reviewed. Furthermore, evidence linking principles and rules of organic production to human health effects is discussed.

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