Chapter 14. Agriculture

Snapshot

Category Description

Agriculture is crucial to sustaining life, but agricultural productivity has often come at the expense of agricultural inputs, such as land, water, and minerals (Alexandratos & Bruinsma, 2012). Sustainable farming and ranching thus depend on better and more efficient use of resources to break this link. Fertilizers rich in nitrogen support plant growth and are thus vital to the agricultural sector (Zhang et al., 2015, p. 51). Nitrogen pollution, however, has the potential to cause widespread damage if managed inadequately (Bodirsky et al., 2014). The EPI uses one indicator to track nitrogen management as a measure of environmental performance.

Indicator Included

Sustainable Nitrogen Management Index (SNMI). As a gauge of efficiency, the SNMI indicator uses nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) and crop yield to measure the environmental performance of agricultural production (Zhang & Davidson, 2016).

Agriculture Indicator

Sustainable Nitrogen Management Index

Unitless