RESEARCH NETWORKING TO EVALUATE THE SUSTAINABILITY OF HORTICULTURAL PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
Although it is widely recognized by researchers who study agricultural production systems that evaluating the sustainability of these systems is vital, few studies of this nature have been published. One difficulty may be in defining what constitutes sustainability and how it should be measured, while another may be in networking with the necessary multi-disciplinary research team to carry out this type of study. Nevertheless, the study of agricultural production systems is important to the sustainability of farms, rural communities, and society because these studies compare actual farming systems, revealing their strengths and weaknesses. Using the recent study on the sustainability of organic, integrated, and conventional apple production systems in Washington State, USA, as an example, we will address the following critical questions about evaluating sustainability and how research net¬working fits into this scientific approach: What constitutes a whole systems approach to studying sustainability in horticultural production systems? What are the characteristics of a successful study of horticultural production systems? Why aren't more studies of horticultural production systems performed or reported in the literature? What are the future directions of research on horticultural production systems?
Andrews, P.K. and Reganold, J.P. (2004). RESEARCH NETWORKING TO EVALUATE THE SUSTAINABILITY OF HORTICULTURAL PRODUCTION SYSTEMS. Acta Hortic. 638, 359-368
conventional, ecosystem, farming, integrated, multidisciplinary, organic