Description : The oak tree was a boon companion as humans expanded their presence across much of the globe. While oak woodlands (Quercus spp.) come today in stunningly diverse forms, the stately dehesas of Spain and the dramatic oak-dominated ranchlands of California are working landscapes where cultivation and manipulation for a couple of millennia have shaped Mediterranean-type ecosystems into a profoundly modified yet productive environment that is sought-after by every manner of species. The grazing of wildlife and livestock in oak woodlands yields a remarkable plant and animal biodiversity, creating a mosaic of habitats and visually pleasing savannas. Added products unique to Spain such as Iberian pigs and cork, and in California multiple landowner benefits, include valued ecosystem services that allow owners, visitors, and conservation supporters to experience the benefits of woodland life. With its 15 chapters a decade in the making, this handsomely illustrated book covers key topics in oak woodland policy, ecology, and management in Spain and California, presenting new research results and reviewing an existing expert literature.
Description : At a time when food producers have to make significant changes to their businesses in order to survive, a review of benchmarking in agriculture and discussion of its future potential is critical. This book meets that need by providing an overview of existing benchmarking practices in agriculture and the food supply chain, and evaluating the potential of these practices to drive sustainable innovation in food and farming. Increasing pressures from commodity markets, corporate buyers, government and rising input prices (particularly fuel prices) are creating an environment in which farmers and their advisors are keen to make greater use of performance information for survival and growth. Where farmers are diversifying into alternative production methods, non-agricultural enterprises and on-farm production and sales, the greater the interest in a wider range of accounting tools for decision making. Lisa Jack and her contributors draw on a wide range of data and sources from Australia, New Zealand, the USA, the UK and Europe to provide critical evaluations of what might be considered 'state of the art' benchmarking practices at this time, including recent strategic developments such as the use of non-financial measures in balanced scorecards. The food and farming industry is unusual in that benchmarking takes place among large numbers of small, family-owned businesses working in a global industry. Not only, therefore, is this book important for those working in food supply chain businesses, but also for those involved in the general practice of benchmarking.
Description : Admired for its elaborate breeding displays and treasured as a game bird, the Greater Sage-Grouse is a charismatic symbol of the broad open spaces in western North America. Unfortunately these birds have declined across much of their range—which stretches across 11 western states and reaches into Canada—mostly due to loss of critical sagebrush habitat. Today the Greater Sage-Grouse is at the center of a complex conservation challenge. This multifaceted volume, an important foundation for developing conservation strategies and actions, provides a comprehensive synthesis of scientific information on the biology and ecology of the Greater Sage-Grouse. Bringing together the experience of thirty-eight researchers, it describes the bird’s population trends, its sagebrush habitat, and potential limitations to conservation, including the effects of rangeland fire, climate change, invasive plants, disease, and land uses such as energy development, grazing, and agriculture.
Description : Livestock production systems are the result of an interaction between domestic animals and the environment, modulated by man, that dates back to Neolithic times. As a consequence of this interaction among the wide diversity of animal resources, natural habitats and population needs, very different farming systems have developed across the Mediterranean Basin. Understanding the mechanisms and effects of these relationships is key to design the farming systems best adapted to each condition, guaranteeing an adequate balance between target animal production and environmental outcomes provided by these systems. This is indeed a multidimensional topic, influenced by animal genetics, feeding resources, flock management, and economic and social aspects inside and outside the household. Therefore, this book focuses on the basis of the animal-environment interactions and the impact of human activities on the type and magnitude of these interactions. In this context, the issue of sustainability of livestock production is evaluated considering economic, social and environmental aspects. This book contributes to upgrade the state of the art in Mediterranean conditions, providing indicators and procedures of application across a wide range of systems, and hence of interest for researchers, students and professionals concerned with livestock production and the environment.
Description : For more than 30 years, modelling has been an important method for integrating, in a flexible, comprehensive and widely applicable way, basic knowledge and biological concepts on digestion and metabolism in farm animals. The purpose of this book is to present the 'state of art' in this area. The chapters are written by leading teams and researchers in this field of study, mainly from Europe, North America and Australasia. Considerable progress has been made in topics dealing with: modelling methods, feeding behaviour, digestion and metabolic processes in ruminants and monogastric animals. This progress is clearly illustrated by the emergence of a new paradigm in animal nutrition, which has moved from the aim to cover the requirements of the animal to explaining and predicting the responses of the animals to diets (e.g., productivity and efficiency, impact on quality of products, environmental aspects, health and well-being). In this book several chapters illustrate that through empirical models, meta-analysis is an efficient tool to synthesize information gathered over recent decades. In addition, compared with other books on modelling farm animal nutrition, two new aspects received particular attention: expanding knowledge of the individual animal to understanding the functioning and management of herds, and the consideration of the environmental impact of animal production. This book is a valuable source of information for researchers, nutritionists, advisors, and graduate students who want to have up-to-date and concise information on mathematical modelling applied to farm animals.
Description : The challenge of global hunger is now high on the agenda of governments and international policy-makers. This new work contributes to addressing that challenge, by looking at the obstacles which stand in the way of implementing a right to food in the era of globalisation. The book describes the current situation of global hunger; it considers how it relates both to the development of food systems and to the merger of the food and energy markets; and it explains how the right to food contributes to identifying solutions at the domestic and international levels. The right to food, it argues, can only be realised if governance improves at the domestic level, and if the international environment enables governments to adopt appropriate policies, for which they require a certain policy space. The essays in this book demonstrate that the current regimes of trade, investment and food aid, as well as the development of biofuels production – all of which contribute to define the international context in which states implement such reforms – should be reshaped if national efforts are to be successful. The implication is that extraterritorial human rights obligations of states (their obligations to respect the right to food beyond their national territories, for instance in their food aid, investment or trade policies), as well as the strengthening of global governance of food security (as is currently being attempted with the reform of the Committee on World Food Security in Rome), have a key role to fulfill: domestic reforms will not achieve sustainable results unless the international environment is more enabling of the efforts of governments acting individually. In this reform process, accountability both at the domestic and international level is essential if sustainable progress is to be achieved in combating global hunger.