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Crop drivers in the shift from synthetic inputs to alternative practices in diversified farming systems

Dupré M., Michels T., Le Gal P.Y.. 2020. European Journal of Agronomy, 120 : 20 p..

DOI: 10.1016/j.eja.2020.126146

Reducing the use of synthetic inputs by shifting to alternative practices is becoming a growing priority in the agricultural sector. This study aims to understand how farmers manage this shift on diversified horticultural farms. The implementation of alternative practices at the crop level was analyzed on 28 farms on La Réunion Island (France). The surveys conducted combined interviews with farmers and the use of a dedicated indicator. Implementation of alternative practices depends on (i) the specificities of each production case (PC) defined as the combination of a crop with its biological features, a production mode and an economic environment (available technical support and market specifications), and (ii) links between PC within a farm. Five clusters of PC were identified based on their specificities. Links between PC take the form of competition over farm resources or, conversely, exchanges of biomass, inputs, equipment and skills acquired on each PC. These results provide an analytical framework to help advisors better support the diversity of farm involvement in shifting from synthetic inputs to alternative practices.

Mots-clés : système d'exploitation agricole; conduite de la culture; horticulture; agriculture alternative; agriculture faible niveau intrants; réunion; france

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