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Assessing the resilience of European farming systems to consequences of global peak oil using a dynamic nitrogen flow model

Abstract : European farming systems (FS) are currently dependent on fossil fuels, among other things for the nitrogen fertiliser’s synthesis and the feed import (inputs). However, the global peak oil could be reached by 2030, leading to a price increase of these inputs and a decrease in the capacity of farmers to buy them. This dependence raises questions about the resilience of these FSs, i.e. their ability to maintain food production. The aim of this thesis was to assess the resilience of European FSs to constraints on input imports. To address it, I developed a dynamic nitrogen balance macro-model of a FS with 3 compartments (livestock, plant and soil) and 2 land-uses (permanent grassland and cropland). I explored this model for FSs in France (extensive beef farms, field crops or intensive monogastric farms) and in Portugal (extensive beef farms). I investigated two components of resilience: (1) robustness, i.e. their ability to maintain food production in the face of a progressive decline in input imports, in simulation mode, and (2) adaptability potential, i.e. the changes in crop-livestock compositions that can be envisaged to increase robustness, in multi-objective optimisation mode. I found that specialised French FSs (field crops or intensive monogastric farms) are less robust in the short-term than mixed FSs. In the long-term, the FSs with high feed-food competition (FFC) are the most robust. In optimisation mode, I showed that a decrease in FFC is a compositional change that maximises food production without imported inputs. In the Portuguese FS, I identified a trade-off between beef production robustness and climate change mitigation, which can be alleviated with the combination of agroecological practices. These compositional changes should be implemented as soon as possible to prevent food insecurity in the face of input constraints.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 28, 2022 - 10:57:27 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-03707003, version 1

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Corentin Pinsard. Assessing the resilience of European farming systems to consequences of global peak oil using a dynamic nitrogen flow model. Agronomy. Université Paris-Saclay, 2022. English. ⟨NNT : 2022UPASB021⟩. ⟨tel-03707003⟩

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