Policies for reintegrating crop and livestock systems: A comparative analysis

Rachael D. Garrett*, Meredith Niles, Juliana Dias Bernardes Gil, Philip Dy, Julio Reis, Judson Valentim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The reintegration of crop and livestock systems within the same land area has the potential to improve soil quality and reduce water and air pollution, while maintaining high yields and reducing risk. In this study, we characterize the degree to which federal policies in three major global food production regions that span a range of socioeconomic contexts, Brazil, New Zealand, and the United States, incentivize or disincentivize the use of integrated crop and livestock practices (ICLS). Our analysis indicates that Brazil and New Zealand have the most favorable policy environment for ICLS, while the United States provides the least favorable environment. The balance of policy incentives and disincentives across our three cases studies mirrors current patterns of ICLS usage. Brazil and New Zealand have both undergone a trend toward mixed crop livestock systems in recent years, while the United States has transitioned rapidly toward continuous crop and livestock production. If transitions to ICLS are desired, particularly in the United States, it will be necessary to change agricultural, trade, environmental, biofuels, and food safety policies that currently buffer farmers from risk, provide too few incentives for pollution reduction, and restrict the presence of animals in crop areas. It will also be necessary to invest more in research and development in all countries to identify the most profitable ICLS technologies in each region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number473
Number of pages22
JournalSustainability
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Agroecology
  • Brazil
  • New zealand
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • United states

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    Garrett, R. D., Niles, M., Dias Bernardes Gil, J., Dy, P., Reis, J., & Valentim, J. (2017). Policies for reintegrating crop and livestock systems: A comparative analysis. Sustainability, 9(3), [473]. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9030473