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Methodology for Assessing Farming Systems

To produce methodology for assessing the environmental, economic and social characteristics of (organic and non-organic) farming systems

Defra project IF0386

The project will describe the range of current UK farming systems, for example organic, low input, extensive, integrated, intensive, etc. and develop methodology to describe their environmental, economic and social characteristics.

The methodology will be based on a life-cycle approach and will consider inputs, products, outputs and impacts which will be characterised for the different farming systems. Indicators will be chosen to represent those characteristics and combined to produce the methodology which may subsequently be used to evaluate the productivity and sustainability of different farming systems.

The project will begin with a review of both published and un-published work to inform the description of a comprehensive range of farming systems. The team will then identify the characteristics of those systems and develop methods that can be used to assess and quantify the impact of farming systems at appropriate scales. Finally, the methods will be validated using case studies.


Project Participants:

Project Duration: August 2009 to April 2013

Potato field