Worldwide Sustainability Hotspots in Potato Cultivation. 2. Areas with Improvement Opportunities

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Abstract

Agriculture has a large impact on the environment and retailers increasingly stimulate their suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of agricultural production. The environmental impact resulting from producing a commodity can be measured with a life cycle analysis (LCA) but performing an LCA is costly and time-consuming. In the first paper of this series a practical and general method to identify hotspot areas in crop production on a global scale was developed. The method was implemented for potatoes. The objective of the work reported here was to evaluate the tool and to identify improvement opportunities for each of seven indicators: yield, erosion risk, nitrogen surplus, depletion of water reserves, biocide use, carbon footprint, and impact on biodiversity. The tool produces realistic outputs that can be used to target improvement efforts and thus improves the use efficiency of limited resources. The tool can be expanded to produce similar results for other crops; methods to improve the resolution of the tool are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-368
JournalPotato Research
Volume56
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • farming systems
  • multiyear assessment
  • unilevers progress
  • soil-erosion
  • nitrogen
  • biodiversity
  • indicators
  • australia
  • region
  • crops

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