Agron. Sustain. Dev.
Volume 28, Number 1, January-March 2008
Page(s) 151 - 161
Published online 18 December 2007
Agron. Sustain. Dev. 28 (2008) 151-161
DOI: 10.1051/agro:2007031

Methodological progress in on-farm regional agronomic diagnosis. A review

Thierry Doré1, Cathy Clermont-Dauphin2, Yves Crozat3, Christophe David4, Marie-Hélène Jeuffroy5, Chantal Loyce1, David Makowski5, Eric Malézieux6, Jean-Marc Meynard7 and Muriel Valantin-Morison5

1  AgroParisTech, UMR211 INRA/AgroParisTech, BP 01, 78850 Thiverval-Grignon, France
2  IRD, DRV-UR176 SOLUTIONS, Land Development Department, Office of Science for Land Development, Paholyothin Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
3  Laboratoire d'Écophysiologie Végétale et Agroécologie, Groupe ESA, 55 rue Rabelais, BP 748, 49007 Angers Cedex 01, France
4  ISARA Lyon, Agrapole, 69364 Lyon 07, France
5  INRA, UMR211 INRA/AgroParisTech, BP 01, 78850 Thiverval-Grignon, France
6  CIRAD, UMR SYSTEM, 34060 Montpellier, France
7  INRA, Département SAD, Bâtiment EGER, 78850 Thiverval-Grignon, France

(Accepted 8 June 2007; published online 18 December 2007)

Abstract - The development of sustainable cropping systems is a key priority for agronomists and crop scientists. A first step involves understanding the relationship between cropping system performance and farmers' practices. To complete this step, a methodological framework entitled Regional Agronomic Diagnosis (RAD) has been developed. During the last ten years, the scope of the regional agronomic diagnosis has been enlarged to include several factors describing crop quality and the environmental impact of cropping systems. Regional agronomic diagnosis has led to several major advances such as (1) the assessment of the effect of preceding crop and soil structure on malting barley quality in France and (2) the assessment of the effects of ploughing, nematicide use and fertilisers on soil properties in intensive banana plantations in the West Indies. Improvements have also been gained in methodology, particularly by the selection of indicators for assessing the effects of crop management, soil and weather conditions, and data analysis. Finally, regional agronomic diagnosis has been integrated into more general approaches of agricultural development. We review here this methodological progress.

Key words: diagnosis / on-farm research / indicator / cropping system / agronomic performance / yield gap analysis / barley / nematicide / banana / soil

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© INRA, EDP Sciences 2007