Tracking nutrient flows in a multi-enterprise farming systems with a mass-balance model (ECOPATH)
- Whether grown for sale or for on-farm consumption, vegetables and other crops are often managed as stand-alone, monoculture enterprises. Integrated farming can help improve the nutrient output-input balance sheet and efficiency, not only for each component, but for the whole farm agroecosystem. Quantitative methods that can assist farmers and researchers improve diversified and integrated natural resources management systems are emerging from the agricultural and ecological sciences. Modeling nutrient flows can help assess changes in management and production systems and help compare the impact of different agricultural scenarios on nutrient balances, productive capacity, and agroecological performance. ECOPATH, a mass-balance application program developed to model and assess the ecological state and performance of aquatic ecosystems, and which is now also applied to agroecosystems, is introduced. The analytical framework is illustrated by way of its application in the Philippines, to two smallholder rice farm scenarios with vegetable components.
- Miscellaneous themes 
- Book Chapter