A sustainable agricultural future relies on the transition to organic agroecological pest management

Lauren Brzozowski, Michael Mazourek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

The need to improve agricultural sustainability to secure yields, minimize environmental impacts and buffer environmental change is widely recognized. Investment in conventional agriculture has supported its present yield advantage. However, organic agriculture with agroecological management has nascent capacity for sustainable production and for increasing yields in the future. Conventional systems have leveraged reductionist approaches to address pests, primarily through pesticides that seek to eliminate biological factors that reduce yield, but come at a cost to human and ecosystem health, and leave production systems vulnerable to the development of pest resistance to these chemicals or traits. Alternatives are needed, and are found in organic production approaches. Although both organic and agroecology approaches encompass more than pest management, this aspect is a pivotal element of our agricultural future. Through increased investment and application of emerging analytical approaches to improve plant breeding for and management of these systems, yields and resilience will surpass approaches that address components alone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2023
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume10
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Fellowship support for L.B. was provided by a Seed Matters Graduate Fellowship, an initiative of the Clif Bar Family Foundation, and the publication was supported by the Organic Research and Extension Initiative grant 'The Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative II (NOVIC II)' [grant no. 2014-51300-22223] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) or the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or the Clif Bar Family Foundation, or other sponsors or parties. Acknowledgments: The authors would like to thank Matthew Ryan for significantly contributing to our discussion of soil health, Jim Myers for providing thoughtful comments on the manuscript, and to acknowledge Rachel Hultengren and Tyr Wiesner-Hanks for helpful discussions during the writing the manuscript. Three anonymous reviewers also provided insightful feedback that greatly improved this manuscript. The work reviewed herein was supported by 'A Production System For High Value Crops At Risk From Downy Mildew: Integrating Detection, Breeding, Extension, and Education' USDA NIFA 2016-68004-24931, 'ESO-Cuc Addressing Critical Pest Management Challenges in Organic Cucurbit Production' USDA NIFA OREI Project No. 2012-51300-20006, 'The Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative II (NOVIC II)' USDA NIFA OREI 2014-51300-22223, 'The Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC)' USDA NIFA OREI 2009-51300-05585; Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) or the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or other sponsors or parties.

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: The authors would like to thank Matthew Ryan for significantly contributing to our discussion of soil health, Jim Myers for providing thoughtful comments on the manuscript, and to acknowledge Rachel Hultengren and Tyr Wiesner-Hanks for helpful discussions during the writing the manuscript. Three anonymous reviewers also provided insightful feedback that greatly improved this manuscript. The work reviewed herein was supported by “A Production System For High Value Crops At Risk From Downy Mildew: Integrating Detection, Breeding, Extension, and Education” USDA NIFA 2016-68004-24931, “ESO-Cuc Addressing Critical Pest Management Challenges in Organic Cucurbit Production” USDA NIFA OREI Project No. 2012-51300-20006, “The Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative II (NOVIC II)” USDA NIFA OREI 2014-51300-22223, “The Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC)” USDA NIFA OREI 2009-51300-05585; Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) or the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or other sponsors or parties.

Funding Information:
Funding: Fellowship support for L.B. was provided by a Seed Matters Graduate Fellowship, an initiative of the Clif Bar Family Foundation, and the publication was supported by the Organic Research and Extension Initiative grant “The Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative II (NOVIC II)” [grant no. 2014-51300-22223] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) or the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or the Clif Bar Family Foundation, or other sponsors or parties.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors.

Keywords

  • Agroecology
  • Biodiversity
  • Host plant resistance
  • Organic agriculture
  • Pest management
  • Pesticides
  • Plant breeding
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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