Decoupling livestock and crop production at the household level in China

Jin, Shuqin; Zhang, Bin; Wu, Bi; Han, Dongmei; Hu, Yu; Ren, Chenchen; Zhang, Chuanzhen; Wei, Xun; Wu, Yan; Mol, Arthur P.J.; Reis, Stefan ORCID:; Gu, Baojing; Chen, Jie. 2021 Decoupling livestock and crop production at the household level in China. Nature Sustainability, 4 (1). 48-55.

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Animal manure used to be the major source of additional nutrients and crucial for maintaining soil fertility and crop yield in traditional farming systems. However, it is increasingly not recycled, wasting vital resources and damaging the environment. By using long-term (1986–2017) data from a rural household survey (>20,000 households) across China, here we show that the share of rural households with both crop planting and livestock raising (CPLR) has sharply declined from 71% in 1986 to only 12% in 2017. Compared with households with only crop planting, the CPLR households apply less synthetic fertilizer and more manure per cropland area. However, manure production in one-third of CPLR households has exceeded the nutrient requirement of crop growth on their croplands. Rebuilding the links between livestock and croplands at a regional scale thus provides vital opportunities for the sustainable intensification of agriculture in China.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 2398-9629
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Publisher link (see Related URLs) provides a read-only full-text copy of the published paper.
Additional Keywords: agriculture, biogeochemistry
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Agriculture and Soil Science
Atmospheric Sciences
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Date made live: 03 Sep 2020 16:00 +0 (UTC)

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