Considering the influence of the variability in management practices on the environmental impacts of fruit production: A case study on raspberry production in Chile

Vasquez-Ibarra, Leonardo; Iriarte, Alfredo; Rebolledo-Leiva, Ricardo; Vasquez, Marcia; Angulo-Meza, Lidia; Gonzalez-Araya, Marcela C.

Abstract

The environmental impact generated by different agricultural production systems (organic, conventional, or other systems) can vary considerably even within a given one. This variability in the environmental impacts is due, among other factors, to the different agricultural practices used and the yield obtained. Few studies have analyzed the variability attributable to different practices within a given production system. Studies analyzing smallholder production, as is the case for raspberries in Chile, are even scarcer. Within this context, the main objective of this study is to evaluate how management practices affect environmental impacts and to identify efficient practices of smallholder raspberry production. The methodology used in this study follows the ISO 14044 guide by taking into account a cradle-to-farm gate system boundary and focusing on 1 kg of harvested raspberries as the functional unit. A total of 35 orchards were studied. For each one, the agricultural activities included were fertilization, pest management, and plastic and pruning waste management. The evaluated impact categories were global warming potential, acidification potential, eutrophication potential, stratospheric ozone depletion potential, photo-oxidant formation potential, and human toxicity potential. The variability in each category was analyzed through statistical measures of dispersion. Results show that fertilization was the highest contributor in four of the six environmental impact categories evaluated. Regarding the variability in environmental impacts, the categories with the highest coefficient and lowest coefficient of variation are human toxicity potential at 72% and eutrophication potential at 48%, respectively. Variability in environmental impacts is principally associated with three causes: quantity of agrochemicals used, type of agrochemicals, and orchard yield.

Más información

Título según WOS: Considering the influence of the variability in management practices on the environmental impacts of fruit production: A case study on raspberry production in Chile
Título de la Revista: JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION
Volumen: 313
Editorial: Elsevier
Fecha de publicación: 2021
DOI:

10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.127609

Notas: ISI