|Main authors:||Tamás Kismányoky, Tamás Hermann, Brigitta Tóth, Gergely Tóth, Oihane Fernandez-Ugalde, Minggang Xu, Wang Fei, Thomas Caspari, Zhanguo Bai, Xiaodong Song|
|Source document:||Kismányoky, T. et al. (2016) Classification of farming systems across Europe and China. iSQAPER Project Deliverable 2.2 21 pp|
The classification of the farming systems traditionally has been based on the available natural resource base and the dominant pattern of farm activities and household livelihoods taking into account the kind of soil management and land use and the main technologies used. These in turn determine the intensity of production and integration of crops, livestock and other activities.
The farm as a unit transfers input into agricultural output, which undergoes changes over time. In the process of adapting cropping patterns and farming techniques to the natural, economic and socio-political conditions of each location and the aims of the farmers, distinct farming systems are developed. For the purpose of agricultural development it is advisable to group farms with similar structures into classes (Elemo, 2015).
The classification of agricultural systems has a long history but there is no generic system that is truly comprehensive and can serve all purposes (Spedding, 1975). Here we provide an overview on the farming system classifications (models) developed and used in the last few years in Europe and China
1. FAO farming system classification
The classification of farming systems according to the FAO (2015) can be specified based on one or more of the following criteria:
- size of farm,
- proportion of land, labor and capital investment,
- value of products or income or on the bases of comparative advantages,
- water supply,
- type and intensity of rotation,
- degree of commercialization,
- degree of nomadic,
- cropping and animal activities,
- implements used for cultivation.
In iSQAPER project to fulfill the aims of the SQ App, we consider classification of farming systems based on the cropping and animal activities.
2. CORINE Land Cover classification
In 1985 the CORINE Land cover program was initiated by the EU. CORINE stands for COoRdination of INformation on the Environment and it was a prototype project working on many different environmental issues (CEC-EEA, 1993). The results were published in 1995. According to that the agricultural areas of Europe are divided as follows (CEC-EEA, 2012):
- arable land
- non-irrigated arable land
- permanently irrigated land
- rice field
- permanent crops
- fruit trees and berry plantations
- olive groves
HETEROGENEOUS AGRICULTURAL AREAS:
- annual crops associated with permanent crops
- complex cultivation
- land principally occupied by agriculture, with areas of natural vegetation
- agro-forestry areas
3. Dixon farming system knowledge base
To develop the farming system knowledge base Dixon et al. (2015) blended information from global Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with existing local farming system studies. They identified the characteristics and extent of each farming system zone. For this purpose the teams used the FAO Agri-Ecological Zone (AEZ) maps as a basis and added other GIS layers as relevant, including environmental constraints, cultivated extent, livestock etc.
4. SEAMLESS project farm type and land use classification
In the SEAMLESS integrated project (Andersen, 2010) the regions are typified based on cluster analysis for each of the three dimension of a farm typology based on farm size, intensity and specialization/land use. The three dimensions are combined into one typology of agricultural regions including all combinations of the three dimensions. The results of the different clusters and the final typology are described and the regional distribution is presented on maps (Tables 1 and 2).
Table 1: Types in the specialisation dimension with definitions and reference to codes in Community typology (SEAMLESS).
|Arable systems||1 + 6||> 2/3 of SGM* from arable or ( > 1/3 of SGM from arable and/or permanent crops and/or horticulture)|
|Dairy cattle||4.1||> 2/3 of SGM from dairy cattle|
|Beef and Mixed cattle||4.2 and 4.3||> 2/3 of SGM from cattle and < 2/3 of SGM from dairy cattle|
|Sheep, Goats and mixed grazing Livestock||4.4||> 2/3 of SGM from grazing livestock and < 2/3 of SGM from cattle|
|Pigs||5.1||> 2/3 of SGM from pigs|
|Poultry and mixed Pigs/poultry||5.2||> 2/3 of SGM from pigs & poultry and < 2/3 of SGM from pigs|
|Mixed farms||7||All other farms|
|Mixed livestock||8||> 1/3 and < 2/3 of SGM from pigs & poultry and/or > 1/3 and < 2/3 of SGM from cattle|
|Permanent crops||3||> 2/3 of SGM from permanent crops|
|Horticulture||2||> 2/3 of SGM from horticultural crops|
*SGM: Standard Gross Margin.
Table 2: Land use types and definitions (SEAMLESS).
|Land use type||Definition|
|Land independent||Utilised agricultural area (UUA) = 0 or LU (Livestock units)/ha (hectare) => 5|
|Horticultural||(> 0 UAA or LU/ha<5) and >= 50% of UAA in horticultural crops|
|Permanent crop||(> 0 UAA or LU/ha<5) and < 50% of UAA in horticultural crops and >= 50% of UAA in permanent crops|
|Temporary grassland||(> 0 UAA or LU/ha<5) and < 50% of UAA in horticultural crops and < 50% of UAA in permanent crops and >= 50% of UAA in grass and >= 50% Temporary grass)|
|Permanent grassland||(> 0 UAA or LU/ha<5) and < 50% of UAA in horticultural crops and < 50% of UAA in permanent crops and >= 50% of UAA in grass and < 50% Temporary grass)|
|Fallow land||(> 0 UAA or LU/ha<5) and < 50% of UAA in horticultural crops and < 50% of UAA in permanent crops and < 50% of UAA in grass and >= 12.5% Fallow)|
|Cereal||(> 0 UAA or LU/ha<5) and < 50% of UAA in horticultural crops and < 50% of UAA in permanent crops and < 50% of UAA in grass and < 12.5% Fallow) and >= 50% Cereals|
|Mixed crop||(> 0 UAA or LU/ha<5) and < 50% of UAA in horticultural crops and < 50% of UAA in permanent crops and < 50% of UAA in grass and < 12.5% Fallow) and < 50% Cereals and < 25% of arable land in specialised crops|
|Specialised crop (Grain Maize, potatoes, sugar beet, hops, soya, tobacco, medicinal plants, sugar cane, cotton, fibre lax, hemp, mushrooms, vegetables in open, flowers in open, grass seeds, other seeds)||(> 0 UAA or LU/ha<5) and < 50% of UAA in horticultural crops and < 50% of UAA in permanent crops and < 50% of UAA in grass and < 12.5% Fallow) and < 50% Cereals and >=25% of arable land in specialised crops.|
5. SMART SOIL project farm type classification
The SMART SOIL project (Sustainable farm Management Aimed at Reducing Threats to Soils under climate change) (2011-2013), in its Deliverable 2.2. presented the indicators in the database regarding the typical farming systems and soil management practices. The FS have been derived from the SEAMLESS project (Andersen, 2010). In that project a classification was developed which distinguished 21 farm types into the following six main farm systems (Table 3).
Table 3: SEAMLESS farm types and grouping to main farming system (SMART SOIL)
|Code||SEAMLESS farm type||Main farming system||Code||SEAMLESS farm type||Main farming system|
|1||Arable/Cereal||Field crops||12||Beef and mixed cattle/Others||Mixed farms|
|2||Arable/Fallow||Field crops||13||Sheep and goats/Land independent||Mixed farms|
|3||Arable/Specialised crops||Industrial crops||14||Sheep and goats/Others||Mixed farms|
|4||Arable/Others||Field crops||15||Pigs/Land independent||Mixed farms|
|5||Dairy cattle/Permanent grass||Pasture and grasslands||16||Pigs/Others||Mixed farms|
|6||Dairy cattle/Temporary grass||Pasture and grasslands||17||Poultry and mixed pigs/poultry||Mixed farms|
|7||Dairy cattle/Land independent||Mixed farms||18||Mixed farms||Mixed farms|
|8||Dairy cattle/Others||Mixed farms||19||Mixed livestock||Mixed farms|
|9||Beef and mixed cattle/Permanent grass||Pasture and grasslands||20||Horticulture||Horticulture|
|10||Beef and mixed cattle/Temporary grass||Pasture and grasslands||21||Permanent crops||Permanent crops|
|11||Beef and mixed cattle/Land independent||Mixed farms|
6. The CATCH-C project farm type and land use classification
In the CATCH-C project (twin project to Smart Soil 2012-2014) farm types were calculated to AEZs (agri-environmental zones) over Europe according to the procedure developed by Kempen et al. (2011). This allocation procedure uses farm accountancy data network (FADN) farm data at NUTS-2 level to estimate the presence of certain farm types within AEZs. The AEZ is based on three variables: climate (environmental zones), soil texture and slope. Overlaying the three datasets results in spatial zones with similar biophysical characteristic (Tables 4 and 5).
Table 4: Classes and definitions of farm specialisation according to FADN (CATCH-C).
|Specialisation||EU-code of FADN||Definition|
|Arable systems (specialised field crops and mixed cropping)||1+6||- >1/3 of standard gross margin from general cropping (arable farming)
- Or > 1/3 but < 2/3 of standard gross margin from horticulture
- Or > 1/3 but < 2/3 of standard gross margin from permanent crops
Combined with < 1/3 of standard gross margin from meadows and grazing livestock and < 1/3 from granivores
|Permanent crops||3||> 2/3 of standard gross margin from permanent crops|
|Horticulture||2||> 2/3 of standard gross margin from horticultural crops|
|Dairy cattle||4.1||> 2/3 of standard gross margin from dairy cattle|
|Beef and mixed cattle||4.2 and 4.3||> 2/3 of standard gross margin from cattle and < 2/3 from dairy cattle|
|Sheep, goats and mixed grazing livestock||4.4||> 2/3 of standard gross margin from grazing livestock and < 2/3 from cattle|
|Pigs||5.1||>2/3 of standard gross margin from pigs|
|Poultry and mixed pigs/poultry||5.2||> 2/3 of standard gross margin from pigs and poultry and < 2/3 from pigs|
|Mixed livestock||7||> 1/3 and < 2/3 of standard gross margin from pigs and poultry and/or >1/3 and < 2/3 from cattle|
|Mixed farms||8||All other farms|
Table 5: Classes and definitions of the land use of a farm (CATCH-C).
|Code||Land use type||Definition|
|1||Land independent||UAA = 0 or LU/ha> 5|
|2||Horticultural||Not 1 and > 50% of UAA in horticultural crops|
|3||Permanent crops (not grassland)||Not 1 and 2 and > 50% of UAA in permanent crops|
|4||Temporary grass||Not 1, 2 or 3 and > 50% of UAA in grassland and > 50% of grassland in temporary grass|
|5||Permanent grass||Not 1, 2, 3 and > 50% of UAA in grassland and < 50% of grassland in temporary grass|
|6||Fallow land||Not 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 and > 50% of UAA in fallow|
|7||Cereal||Not 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 and > 50% of UAA in cereals|
|8||Specialised crops||Not 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and > 25% in specialised crops|
|9||Mixed crops (others)||Not 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8|
7. FAO farming systems in China
FAO classifies farming systems according to the following land uses/cropping systems (FAO, 2015)
- Lowland rice
- Tree crop mixed
- Root –tuber
- Upland intensive mixed
- Highland extensive mixed
- Temperate mixed
- Sparse (forest)
- Sparse (arid)
- Costal artisanal fishing (not mapped)
- Urban based (not mapped)
8. Global land cover (30 m resolution)
Chen et al. (2015) mapped the following land cover types:
- Cultivated Land. Lands used for agriculture, horticulture and gardens, including paddy fields, irrigated and dry farmland, vegetation and fruit gardens, etc.
- Forest. Lands covered with trees, with vegetation cover over 30%, including deciduous and coniferous forests, and sparse woodland with cover 10 - 30%, etc.
- Grassland. Lands covered by natural grass with cover over 10%, etc.
- Shrubland. Lands covered with shrubs with cover over 30%, including deciduous and evergreen shrubs, and desert steppe with cover over 10%, etc.
- Water bodies. Water bodies in the land area, including river, lake, reservoir, fish pond, etc.
- Wetland. Lands covered with wetland plants and water bodies, including inland marsh, lake marsh, river floodplain wetland, forest/shrub wetland, peat bogs, mangrove and salt marsh, etc.
- Tundra. Lands covered by lichen, moss, hardy perennial herb and shrubs in the polar regions, including shrub tundra, herbaceous tundra, wet tundra and barren tundra, etc.
- Artificial surfaces. Lands modified by human activities, including all kinds of habitation, industrial and mining area, transportation facilities, and interior urban green zones and water bodies, etc.
- Bare land. Lands with vegetation cover lower than 10%, including desert, sandy fields, Gobi, bare rocks, saline and alkaline lands, etc.
- Permanent snow and ice. Lands covered by permanent snow, glacier and ice caps.
Note: For full references to papers quoted in this article see