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Research and development needs in monitoring agroecosystems in Canada

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Title: Research and development needs in monitoring agroecosystems in Canada
Author: Smith, C. A. S.
Abstract: The research effort to design and monitor the health of agroecosystems in Canada has evolved over the last 3 to 4 years. Within Agriculture Canada, data used in making assessments are collected through field monitoring programs and obtained from census statistics, remote sensing instruments, crop insurance records, soil surveys and provincial land use surveys. Our primary objective is to try to measure the long term sustainability of various farming systems. Risk assessment is one method useful for soil and water degradation. Alternatively, a balance is calculated, as in the case of assessing farm input use efficiency, greenhouse gas dynamics and nutrient budgets. In the case of agroecosystem biodiversity, the scientific sampling protocols required to make these assessments are still under development. Many physical process models can be extremely valuable in making sustainability assessments, however, most are designed for use on plot or site scales. A major challenge is to extrapolate site modelling and monitoring results to broad regional landscapes (ecoregions) for national and international interpretation and presentation. This paper briefly reviews some of the major issues that researchers face in the development of agri-environmental indicators.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/13960
Date: 1995
Rights: In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
Rights Holder: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada


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