AGRO 2015 / FSD5


The 5th International Symposium for
Farming Systems Design

“Multi-functional farming systems in a changing world”

Le Corum conference center, Montpellier, France


Aim and vision


Program outline

Oral presentations

Media corner



Related articles

Related courses

Related events


See the oral presentations at Corum conference center - Plenary session and parallel sessions

Day 0: Sunday September 6 © Montpellier Agglomération

4 pm - 7.30 pm: Registration

6 pm - 7.30 pm: Welcome reception


Day 1: Monday September 7

8 am: Registration opening

9.00 am - 6.30 pm: Plenary symposium "Farming Systems Design in Action: Methods, Achievements and Challenges" with keynotes given by groups of scientists addressing the recent breakthrough in FSD research (and based on special issues) and discussions.


7 pm - 10.30 pm: Conference dinner - Mas de Saporta


Day 2: Tuesday September 8

8.30 am - 7 pm: 4 slots of 3 parallel sessions with keynotes, oral presentations and posters-based workshops. These sessions will be related to the 5 applied topics with, in addition, a specific session dedicated to success stories and future needs of decision aid tools to support farmers in transition to more sustainable systems.

T1. Assessing performances and services of cropping systems (field level experiments, surveys and databases)
Chair: David Parson,University of Tasmania; Co-chair: Eric Malézieux, CIRAD

• T2. Assessing performances and services of farming systems (farm level surveys and databases)
Chair: Jean-Marc Barbier, INRA; Co-chair: Wei-li Liang, Hebei Agricultural University

This session was dedicated to the assessment of performances and services at farm level. The session was divided in several topics, with two communications for each (one of 10 mn and one of 3 mn) (1) diversity of farms and methods for typologies (2) Multi-criteria assessment of farm performances (3) Vulnerability, adaptability and resilience of farms (4) methods of global diagnosis at farm level (5) methods for analyzing farmers' management decisions and (6) economical aspects of farm management.

• T3. Crop modelling and yield gap analysis for agricultural systems analysis and design
Chair: Sentold Asseng, University of Florida; Co-chair: Frank Ewert, Bonn University

T4. What’s new with bioeconomic models for the analysis and design of agricultural systems?
Chair: Francois Affholder, CIRAD; Co-chair: Hatem Belhouchette, IAM.M

The session included 4 main presentations depicting the state of the art of bioeconomic modelling for farming system design, and 6 short presentations for "poster teasing". The session attracted around 50 attendees. We had time for questions immediately after each presentation, as well as for more general discussion at the end. Bioeconomic modelling appeared well recognized by both field agronomists and farm economists as a valuable tool for FSD, but with challenging issues relative to scale shift from field to farm and to interdisciplinarity between biophysical and social sciences.

T5. Designing Climate Smart Agricultural Systems: methods, scales, results and challenges
Chair: Olaf Christen, Agronomy and Organic Farming University of Halle; Co-chair: Jacques-Eric Bergez, INRA

T6. Designing sustainable agricultural systems with legumes
Chair: Marie-Hélène Jeuffroy, INRA; Co-chair: Snapp Sieglinde, Michigan State University

The session consisted of a wide scope of farming systems where legumes can be integrated for improved ecosystem services and overall sustainable performance. These included four main presentations, from Africa to Europe in coverage. Sobering information included data on the decline of area devoted to legume crops and barriers to adoption , including lack of attention to genetic improvement, decline in market access and policies that subsidize cereals and other crops at the expense of ecologically important legumes. There was also encouraging evidence from complex, long-term field experimentation exploring legume-based options through research station trials, modeling and farmer participatory experimentation. Presentations also focused on diverse methods to design and assess cropping systems including legume crops, with or without participation of actors, and modelling.

• T7. Scaling up from farm to landscape and multiscale scenario analysis of agricultural systems
Chair: Martin Van Ittersum, Wageningen UR; Co-chairs: Bernard Hubert, Agropolis International / Marc Benoit, INRA
Read session feedback >>

T8. Co-design and co-innovation with farmers and stakeholders: methods, results and challenges
Chair: Michel Duru, INRA; Co-chairs: Santiago Dogliotti, Universidad de la Republic / Marie-Hélène Jeuffroy, INRA

6.15 - 7.45 pm: Elsevier workshop: “How to publish your research in a top journal”
Since the digital era emerged with the discovery of the internet, our daily lives changed tremendously. In the same respect, academic publishing is not what it used to be. This workshop was attended by around 60 participants and helped them with:
Understanding academic publishing and the latest innovations
Preparing, writing and structuring your article
• Getting to grips with publishing ethics and knowing your rights & responsibilities

Day 3: Wednesday September 9

"On-farm workshops" with farm visits and scientific sessions:

W1. Animal-based systems and crop-livestock interactions at farm and territory level
W2. Annual crops based systems
W3. Cropping systems design: what can we do with field experiments and expert knowledge?

W4. Farms in transition
W5. Silvo-arable and silvo-pastoral systems
W6. Pathways for sustainable intensification of African agriculture?
W7. Aquaculture systems


Day 4: Thursday September 10 - Specific meetings

1. Modelling the impact of extreme climatic events in agriculture
The workshop presented new solutions to model the impact of extreme events, and strategies for their effective implementation. The event included:
– Lectures on identification of extreme events, statistical and process-based approaches to improve prediction of crop yields, and their implementation into reusable software units
– Round table discussion on how the outcomes from the project can support science and policy-making
Further details on Modextreme website>>

2.Holistically assessing the diversity of pathways towards sustainable intensification of African agriculture: methodological issues and challenges
This workshop has been organized by CIRAD and its partners in the frame of the European project ProIntensAfrica. It gathered about 40 participants, from 12 nationalities, half of them having attended the FSD conference. The workshop was dedicated to methodological contributions and detailed case studies focusing on (1) describing and comparing the diversity of on-going pathways to sustainable/ecological intensification in diverse contexts (including proposals for developing a typology of pathways) and (2) examining critically the various frameworks, approaches, criteria and indicators being used or proposed to assess the multi-dimensional and multi-scale performance of such pathways and their associated systems as well as the triggers and drivers they seem to respond to. Examples and case studies have been taken from Sub-Saharan Africa.

3. Designing sustainable land/farming system for the adaptation of Mediterranean agriculture under global changes: integrated assessment from field/farm to regional scales
This seminar was organized by IAM.M in its campus. It gathered 31 participants from 10 different countries involved in projects on farming systems in Europe (“Seamless”) and in the Mediterranean: “Biosight” (CIHEAM-IAMM and IFPRI), the CGIAR CRP-Dryland Systems, the project "Scenarios for sustainable futures of Mediterranean agriculture based on ecosystem services supply" funded by the LABEX OT-MED, OPERAs and the project " landscape trajectories, drivers and impacts" carried out by the University of Evora in Portugal. Although these projects are very different in their scales of approach, they all converge to the analysis of levers for the sustainable intensification of Mediterranean agriculture. The cooperation between these projects will allow to exchange results and to consider a joint submission to next calls for research on mediterranean agriculture and food systems.
Download the program ( pdf file 180 Kb) >>

4. "Shall we continue the FSD Initiative and how?"
23 people attended this meeting organized by ESA, already or newly involved in past FSD initiative. Informal discussions were held during the congress with other FSD “key” scientists not able to stay for this dedicated meeting. On the basis of these discussions, a roadmap for FSD 2015-2020 has been draft by Jacques Wery.
Download the roadmap ( pdf file 115 Kb) >>

Day 4-5: Thursday and Friday, September 10-11 - International courses

1. First international course on Farming Systems Design "Analysis and Design of Sustainable Agricultural Systems: Concepts, Methods and Applications"
Organized by Montpellier SupAgro and IAM.M, in collaboration with INRA, Wageningen University and Research and the Queensland University with the support of Agropolis Fondation. A first « test » course was organized in November 2014 in Tunisia in partnership with Icarda and the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Agricultural Production Systems. The FSD conference was an opportunity to launch the first version of a FSD course which aims to train young scientists and PhD students to the analysis and integrated modeling of farming systems. The course has quickly filled up with participants of 25 students from 12 countries. Participants’ evaluation was very positive and will provide a basis for the implementation of an extended version of the course (5 days + a preparatory online work) applied to the Mediterranean and tropical agricultures to be held from July 12-16 2016 in Montpellier
with the same partners.
Further details and application ( 158 Kb) >>

2. Training Course Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM)
7 young researchers and
PhD students attended this 2 day course which aimed at providing training in the use of the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM), a tool largely used in numerous research projects, especially in Africa. It was organized by Australian teams, with the support of Montpellier SupAgro.
Details and contact ( 61 Kb) >>




Updated 02.02.16

Organizing Committee FSD5
/ AGRO2015
Contact: Brigitte Cabantous - Tel. +33 (0) - Fax. +33 (0)