john r porter
University of Copenhagen
Field Chief Editor
Frontiers in Agronomy
Agronomy is the applied science of crop and plant production for food, fibre and energy. It is intrinsically multi-disciplinary – agronomists need to have knowledge of biology, chemistry, ecology, soil and earth sciences, pathology, weed science and genetics. In addition to understanding interrelationships among biotic and abiotic ecosystem components, agronomy focuses on ways to predict the responses of food producing systems by using models and other tools, such as statistical analysis, that had their birth within agronomy. Agronomy is both a science and an accredited profession and tries to improve the systems that humans use to produce food, feed, fuel, and fibre.
The case can be made that agronomists are inevitably broader in their thinking than breeders, soil scientists or pathologists in the sense that agronomists, either as scientists or practitioner, have to pull everything together for the farmer. The key spatial scale for an agronomist ranges from a square metre of crop to the field; agronomy’s hierarchical stretch goes from the individual plant organ via the individual plant to the plant population and, perhaps, plant community. The agronomic temporal scale ranges mainly from a day to a year and there is nothing so practical as a good idea – meaning that both theory and practice can game-change agronomy.
What are the ways in which a journal devoted to agronomy can develop in the future? Frontiers in Agronomy will focus on how the efficiencies of crop resource use (water, nutrients, and radiation) interact with each other; remembering that agronomy is a profession and a science. We welcome articles that address how agronomists are and might be trained in the future; on how women and men see differently the use of agronomy, particularly in poor countries and, of course the role that agronomy can play in relation to the impacts, adaption to and mitigation of climate change. Research will move away from a sole focus on crop production and towards food systems. Studies of how agronomy fits into food systems that include food processing, food consumption and food waste, i.e. the whole food cycle, and circular food systems will become very important in the future. What does agronomy look like for systems that produce enough, waste less, recycle more, save more - instead of produce more, waste more, recycle less and save less? What could be the new paradigm for agronomy in the 21st century. The mantra from my early years as an agronomist has now changed from ‘Produce More from Less’ to ‘Produce Enough from Less’.
Frontiers in Agronomy publishes excellent papers that have passed rigorous examination and that are then openly released to the scientific community. This means that the best experiments will be multi-year and multi-location; they will have well described statistics and methods, they will contribute new thinking and knowledge and they will be relevant to the challenges from such issues as global heating and the UN sustainable development goals. If we can produce papers with these goals, then we will be successful. Agronomy can be seen as an applied or practical science, so please think large and wide and deep about the subject of this journal – Frontiers in Agronomy. We need to move the frontiers of our subject throughout the whole world and into the future. Humanity needs us to do this.
Specialty Sections and their Chief Editors include:
Agroecological Cropping Systems, led by Professor Eric Justes, Fonctionnement Agroécologique et Performances des Systèmes Horticoles (CIRAD)
Climate-Smart Agronomy, led by Marco Bindi, University of Florence, Italy
Disease Management, led by Professor Monica Höfte, University of Ghent
Irrigation, led by Professor Rony Wallach, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Pest Management , led by Professor emeritus Murray Isman, University of British Columbia
Plant-Soil Interactions, led by Professor David Jones, University of Bangor
Weed Management, led by Professor Bhagirath Chauhan, The University of Queensland
Frontiers in Agronomy is member of the Committee on Publication Ethics.
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Frontiers in Agronomy is composed of the following Specialty Sections:
The specialty sections of Frontiers in Agronomy welcome submission of the following article types: Brief Research Report, Correction, Data Report, Editorial, Hypothesis & Theory, Methods, Mini Review, Opinion, Original Research, Perspective, Policy Brief, Policy and Practice Reviews, Review, Systematic Review.
When submitting a manuscript to Frontiers in Agronomy, authors must submit the material directly to one of the specialty sections. Manuscripts are peer-reviewed by the Associate and Review Editors of the respective specialty section.
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