Aligning Land Use with Land Potential: The Role of Integrated Agriculture

TitleAligning Land Use with Land Potential: The Role of Integrated Agriculture
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsLiebig M.A, Herrick JE, Archer DW, Dobrowolski J.P., Duiker S.W, Franzluebbers A.J, Hendrickson J, Mitchell R., Mohamed A., Russell J.W, Strickland T
Start Page1-5
Date PublishedApril 13, 2017

Contemporary agricultural land use is dominated by an emphasis on provisioning services by applying energy-intensive inputs through relatively uniform production systems across variable landscapes. This approach to agricultural land use is not sustainable.  Achieving sustainable use of agricultural land should instead focus on the application of innovative management systems that provide multiple ecosystem services on lands with varying inherent qualities. Integrated agricultural systems (IAS) represent an alternative approach to prevailing land use, whereby site adapted enterprises are implemented to enhance synergistic resource transfer among enterprises and sustainable delivery of ecosystem services. Sustainable deployment of IAS on agricultural land involves placing the “right enterprise” at the “right intensity” at the “right time” on the “right location,” with the inherent attributes of location providing guidance for management decisions. There is an urgent need to design IAS that enhance delivery of ecosystem services while ensuring land potential thresholds are not exceeded.