Stan Freyenberger, Rhonda Janke, and David Norman




This paper cites more than 80 pieces of current literature (most between 1990 and 1996) relating to indicators of sustainability and whole-farm planning. Appendix A and B classify all the cited references to provide a 'quick reference' listing according to the classifications.



We thank the other members of our research team for their assistance, encouragement, and editing: Bryan Schurle, Leonard Bloomquist, Jerry Jost, and Hans Kok. We also thank Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station for funding this project.


(Contribution No. 97-482-D from the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station. Stan Freyenberger is a Research Assistant in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Rhonda Janke is Associate Professor and Extension Specialist for Sustainable Cropping Systems in the Department of Agronomy and David Norman is Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, 66506.)




Structure of the Literature Review

Overview Papers

Frameworks for Classifying Indicators

Biophysical Indicators

Socioeconomic and Community Indicators

Policy Papers

Indicators of Sustainability with Relevance to Farmers


Appendix A. System for Classifying the Indicators Literature

Appendix B. Classification Table

Appendix C. Bibliography





The intended audience for this literature review includes researchers and extension workers like ourselves. We are seeking a background and history for what seems to be an obvious trend in the agricultural sciences -- a more systematic, holistic approach to farm management and planning, with an emphasis on environmental quality and minimizing the use of nonrenewable resources.

The discussion of indicators of sustainability has been lively in the past 5 years, including a moderated E-mail discussion group and several conferences with published proceedings. Specific indicators of sustainability, for example soil quality, are being explored in their respective subject matter literature, as well as within the context of the broader discussion of indicators. Most of this review will focus on the work-in-progress presented at the conferences, with limited exploration of specific subject-matter literature. Little has come out in the formal, peer-reviewed literature to date, reflecting the fact that this topic is relatively new to the academic community, so much of what is reviewed is available in what may be called the "grey" literature. As the topic matures, and as these works-in-progress reach fruition, more information will be available and easier to access through traditional journals. For the time being, we hope that this literature review will help fill the gap for other groups like ours seeking to get up to date.

The reader may notice an international flavor to much of the literature. The farming systems research community, with its cross fertilization of people and ideas across country boundaries and from continent to continent, has generated in the past 20 years a number of new concepts of great usefulness to US agricultural workers. Farmer-lead on-farm research and the concept of farming systems research (as opposed to field level research) are examples of these ideas. Similarly, what to measure as indicators of sustainability within the context of farming systems is a question that is being asked among members of the international community. Indeed, the E-mail conference and one of the symposia reviewed in this publication were sponsored by funds provided by the United States Agency for International Development through the SANREM CRSP (Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research Support Program), indicating a commitment to this question.

The topic of sustainability per se is not reviewed in this report. A large body of literature exists on this topic, and we suggest that the reader become familiar with the concepts and definitions discussed in this literature before attempting to understand this review of indicators of sustainability and whole-farm planning. The first report in this publication series, Defining and Implementing Sustainable Agriculture [Norman et al., 1997] and Sustainable Agriculture: Definitions and Terms [Gold, 1994] would be useful references.

In reviewing the literature for this report, the authors were looking not only for concepts, but for concrete examples of whole-farm planning and indicator assessment. These concepts are still relatively new, and hard data are simply not available yet in most cases. Also, existing studies’ data for the most part cannot be reinterpreted using these new concepts, because they represent a fairly major paradigm shift within agriculture and require subject-matter specialists to step across well established lines, collaborate, and work together on information gathering, analysis, and interpretation. We hope that in future reviews, this information will be available for our group and others to build on.

The literature review articles were collected over the course of about a year of planning and preparation for a project in Kansas. The list is inevitably not complete, but we hope that it is accurate and will steer the reader in the direction of the resources they are looking for, help other groups like ours who are looking for information, and promote activity in an area that we think is vitally important for the future of agriculture.



This literature review is intended to cover papers specifically dealing with indicators of sustainability. An extensive classification system is included at the end of this section for readers interested in certain topics or subtopics. The narrative is divided more simply into sections covering papers that 1) give an overview; 2) propose a framework for looking at indicators; 3) deal with biophysical indicators such as soil quality; 4) deal with social and economic indicators and their policy implications; and 5) discuss indicators that would be particularly useful to owners, producers, and managers of farms and ranches.

Please recognize that many of these papers can be cross referenced into another category. All the literature classified as farmer friendly also could be partitioned out to soil quality, economics, community, or other categories. The order or sequence does not indicate importance, but a flow of ideas.

The primary documents reviewed here include papers presented to a symposium on soil quality at the 1992 American Society of Agronomy meetings; an INFORUM E-mail conference that took place from January to April, 1994; a symposium held in Washington DC on Aug. 1-5, 1994; and a soil quality training workshop held in Ames, Iowa in July, 1996.

Another conference proceedings, Defining and Measuring Sustainability, the Biogeophysical Foundations [Munasinghe and Shearer, 1995], also is reviewed. In addition to those, articles from a special issue of the American Journal of Alternative Agriculture [Vol 7:1 and 2, 1992] dealing with soil quality as an indicator of sustainability are reviewed. A few monographs, project progress reports, and other documents also are included in this review. Finally, a library search of Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau abstracts also yielded a generous list of articles on sustainable indicators.



Hart [1994], who organized the INFORUM E-mail conference, felt that we do not have a very good idea of how to develop and use indicators of sustainability, but indicators of resource degradation, farm-system ecological and socioeconomic viability, community system viability and macro market systems all can be identified. One problem is that we are not sure what intergenerational equity is, or if sustainability means more or less than that. The electronic conference included a lively discussion of this and other topics by a large number of participants on several continents.

The SANREM CRSP Indicators of Sustainability Workshop proceedings edited by Bellows [1994] contains a variety of articles. Section headings (and numbers of papers) include: frameworks of indicator development (5), community level indicators of sustainability (4), community and research interactions in the assessment of indicators of sustainability (4), indicators of sustainability from the SANREM CRSP project sites (3), indicator assessment constraints and opportunities (2), indicators of sustainability and policy development (3), the workshop and conference summaries; and poster abstracts (21). A lot of field experience was brought into this workshop.

Defining Soil Quality for a Sustainable Environment [Doran et al. 1994] was published by the Soil Science Society of America. These papers were presented at the 1992 American Society of Agronomy meetings with the objectives of identifying the major components of soil that define soil quality and to quantify soil-derived indicators of soil quality with major emphasis on soil biology. Themes addressed include approaches to defining and assessing relationships among various soil properties and soil quality and land-use sustainability and models for effects of management practices on soil quality. Several papers also relate to measurement of specific soil quality components.

Defining and Measuring Sustainability: the Biogeophysical Foundations edited by M. Munasinghe and W. Shearer [1995] consisted of 27 papers presented at a conference of the same name. They present a global framework of indicators of sustainability. They say that biogeophysical, economic, social, cultural, and political interactions exist, but that sustaining the global life-support system (biogeophysical) is a prerequisite for sustaining human society. As a conference, they defined level two of a three-level monitoring system that included a matrix of eight ecosystems and eight parameters to measure. Level one includes actual points to measure and level three is a way of aggregating the measurements to give global trends.

Papers and visits during the training workshop Soil Quality, A Guide to Conservation [NWAF, 1996] held in Ames, Iowa were intended for hands-on learning. Using soil quality as an indicator of management success may help farmers meet their productivity and conservation goals. These papers describe the documentation of field-level indicators of soil quality across the United States.

Kuik and Verbruggen [1991] edited a book that contains nine papers pertaining to options for 'measuring' sustainable development, with particular relevance to the Netherlands. Following the overview, topics covered include sustainable development indicators, the correction of national income for environmental losses, gross national product and sustainable-income measures, natural resource accounting, the predictive meaning of sustainability indicators, a useful tool for establishing sustainable development, indicators of environmental quality, and an environmental index for application in land-use planning.

Hamblin [1992] edited the output of a workshop aimed at defining indicators of sustainability of Australian agricultural systems acceptable to the scientific and technical community. Subjects covered include the Australian experience to date, agricultural ecosystems and a regional approach, definitions, biodiversity, and summaries of papers contributed as background materials.

Trzyna [1995] edited a book with 14 papers by authors from a wide range of backgrounds concerning the question of sustainability. Most papers were presented at the 19th General Assembly of the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), held in Buenos Aries, Argentina, in January 1994. Four papers attempt to identify the misconceptions surrounding the term sustainability. Four papers consider the measuring processes required to identify any improvement in the movement towards a sustainable world. Six papers try to identify the indicators of sustainability (ecological, economic, and social) and assesses how indicators can be linked to performance goals. International examples are used.

Grassroots Indicators for Desertification, edited by Hambly and Angura [1996] uses examples from East and South Africa in a book containing nine chapters divided into three sections; 1) context and concepts, 2) methods and approaches, and 3) implications and impact. Several real- life examples dealing with issues such as food security in a semi-arid climate make this book more than simply an academic exercise. This book in some senses illustrates the flip side of indicators of sustainability, describing instead indicators of resource degradation.



Stockle et al. [1994] proposes a framework for evaluating the relative sustainability of a farming system using nine attributes: profitability, productivity, soil quality, water quality, air quality, energy efficiency, fish and wildlife habitat, quality of life, and social acceptance. Some could be quantified by direct measurements whereas others are measurable by other evaluation techniques. The indicators of each of the attributes are not identified clearly. Madden [1994] begins with a list of crisis indicators (e.g., population growth rate, number of people chronically hungry, large areas of rain forests bring destroyed each year) that were generated through data aggregation. He then presents a systems framework for indicator development that involves eight steps: motivate, conceptualize, construct, maintain, present, interpret, take action, and evaluate feedback. Indicators can be arrayed along three interlocking dimensions: time, space, and world view.

Taylor et al. [1993] designed a farmer sustainability index (FSI) for cabbage production in which insect, disease and weed controls; soil fertility maintenance; and erosion control practices are scored for their inherent sustainability. Using this index we can compare one person to another according to their actual practices, where the inherent sustainability of the practice is scored rather than responses being divided along a continuum. Attitudes are not included; only practices and environmental conditions are scored.

Muller's [1994] framework for deriving sustainability indicators identifies ecological, economic, and social sustainability as the basics. Conflicting goals may be identified across the three areas, bringing priority questions to mind. Indicators will not replace decisions, but only contribute to making these decisions with full knowledge of their implications.

Lightfoot [1994] proposes that data be collected by direct monitoring and farmer recall to calculate four indicators of sustainability in farming systems: economic efficiency (ratio of net farm income to total cost), natural resource type capacity (biomass output in tons/ha), species diversity (number of cultured and utilized species), and bioresource recycling (number of farmer- generated bioresource flows). This recycling, the number and volume of bioresource flows across farm area as well as between individual farm enterprises, indicates the extent to which the farm is managed in an integrated manner. Focusing on any one of these at the expense of the other would not give a holistic view of sustainability.

Heinonen [1993] proposes an index of agricultural stability, giving a ranking of 1 (nonsustainable) to 10 (highly sustainable). The value of this system is in ranking practices against each other within the same set of resources and constraints. One farmer's ranking could not be safely compared to another's because of the differing values farmers may place on practices. However, a dialogue can be started using this system.

A global assessment (mapping on a scale of 1:10,000,000) is proposed by Sanders [1992], relating more to international policy issues than something practical at the farm scale. Most efforts up until now have been aimed at establishing baseline data that is needed for continued monitoring.

Dumanski et al. [1991] proposed an international framework for evaluating land management. The Framework for Evaluating Sustainable Land Management (FSLM) is an extension of the Food and Agriculture Organization's Framework for Land Evaluation (FLE). The FLE compares benefits and inputs for land uses, and the FSLM will add to this an evaluation of sustainable land management that considers both on- and off-farm environmental and social factors. No indicators of sustainability are needed. A five-level framework for decision making is presented rather than a recipe for sustainable land management. Syers et al. [1994] also worked from the FSLM model. Although indicators can be used to measure changes over time, a threshold provides a baseline against which sustainability can be assessed. Direct measurement of sustainability using indicators is difficult, and surrogates often are easier to establish. Eswaran et al. [1994] also presents FSLM as a tool that will permit screening options and evaluating complex tradeoffs among complex interactive biophysical, socioeconomic, ecological, and agronomic issues. Issues surrounding the selection of indicators are discussed extensively. The article provides a good base for determining that all issues have been considered.

Crissman [1994] discusses how assumptions differ during planning of agricultural and environmental research. These differences are very strong and need to be recognized, otherwise miscommunication will happen. He also looks at the use of an expanded cost-benefit analysis that will encompass environmental and social concerns into the benefit side Using this model should help 1) select and prioritize indicators, 2) allow quantifying of indicators, 3) link farmer decision-making and the status of the indicator, 4) provide a mechanism for presenting tradeoffs among indicators, 5) allow for "what if" questions, and 6) facilitate interdisciplinary research. This allows for a good cost/benefit analysis but is very general in identification of indicators.

Harrington [1992] presents a number of quantitative and nonquantitative approaches to the measure of sustainability but also says that measurement is still in an early stage and much work still needs to be done with disciplinary specialists. In an earlier paper, Harrington et al. [1990] looked at the long term effect of farming practices in a field situation through the use of a survey. They concluded that much work on problem definition still remains. Until problems are defined, what indicators do we measure? They feel that some less obvious on-farm problems may not be defined soon, and that not recognizing their importance may have ultimately disastrous effects on productivity and farmer livelihood.

Van Pelt et al. [1995] claim that the formulation of sustainability indicators and techniques to assess scores on such indicators is required in order to operationalize the concept of sustainable development. The approach proposed incorporates several normative issues (including inter-generational welfare and natural capital) and leads to a choice of location-specific sustainability constraints. Parameters include classes of environmental resources, threshold levels, spatial level, and time path. Assessing the score on this sustainability indicator involves measurement of the difference between actual and normative levels of resource use.

Mitchell et al. [1995] observe that sustainability indicators are already available but are characterized by a poor or absent theoretical underpinning. The paper addresses this problem by proposing a methodological framework that can be applied to the construction of indicators of sustainable development. Considerations relating to the measurement of quality of life and ecological integrity are central to the methodology. The framework is relevant to a variety of spatial scales and to geographically diverse areas (urban and rural, developed or developing), so that a suite of sustainability indicators can be produced that is tailored to the needs and resources of the indicator user, yet remains firmly rooted in the principles of sustainable development.

Kaul et al. [1994] propose a systematic process of investigation that leads to the identification of the order of limiting factors that could be threatening to the sustainability of a given environment, project, technological intervention, or input. They make a distinction between the symptoms and the underlying problem(s). This methodology recognizes that indefinite increases in productivity cannot be sustained without some give and take within and between the physical, ecological, sociocultural, and economic spheres. It is capable of identifying indicators of sustainability and clearly recognizes the points of stress.

Flora [1992] observes that sustainable agriculture requires a balancing of a variety of goals, thus demanding transdisciplinary teams. A major impediment to the development of this transdisciplinary approach is the lack of good indicators of sustainability. Farming systems research and extension (FSR/E) in the US traditionally has involved multidisciplinary teams, including farmer participation, but the composition and process need altering to include the multidimensions of sustainable agriculture. Such adaptions are possible in all phases of FSR/E: from diagnosis, to design, to on-farm trials, to monitoring and evaluation, and finally extension.

Liverman et al. [1988] identify criteria that could be used to assess the concept of a sustainable environment. Criteria are: sensitivity to change in time, sensitivity to change across space or within groups, predictive ability, availability of reference or threshold values, ability to measure reversibility or controllability, appropriate data transformation, integrative ability, and relative ease of collection and use. Two categories of indicators (soil erosion and population) and two specific indicators (physical quality of life index and energy imports as a percentage of consumption) are examined for their value as sustainability measures.

Oades and Walters [1994] describe five tenets of sustainable agriculture. The requirements of indicators are discussed followed by an attempt to illustrate how indicators relate to scale and hierarchy in sustainable agriculture. Various on- and off-site indicators are described for regional use in Australia followed by indicator use on farms and paddocks (soil water, structure, nutrient status and organic matter, plant performance, and biological activity) and a possible approach to the use of indicators by land managers and consultants.

Petry [1994] presents some of the FAO work on the selection of indicators and methods of assessment both for projects and sector scenario projections. Multicriteria approaches are used, and software is being developed, into which standard multicriteria decision aid packages will be integrated. Two software packages presented are ECOZONE and K2.

The Campbell et al. [1995] article focuses on temperate agriculture. It provides a comprehensive overview on identification of indicators with a strong plug for the Environmental Mapping and Assessment Program (EMAP) initiated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is designed for regional or national monitoring purposes, but farm-level application could be extrapolated. This is one of the better papers that deals broadly with cropping systems. Neher [1992] and McQuaid et al. [1994] present further EMAP information.



A number of the "framework" papers cited above also include biophysical indicators. In a paper focusing on a systematic view of these indicators, Edwards et al. [1993] state that the maintenance of biological diversity and nutrient cycling mechanisms are global principles that are common to all agro-ecosystems and, therefore, essential in the design of sustainable agricultural systems. The conceptual model of a farm they present has a through-flow where biophysical inputs (energy, chemicals, water) lead to outputs (food, fiber, energy). This works where resources are renewable, but it does not work where limited resources are used up or where inputs damage other long-term resources. Some technological processes that appropriate nonrenewable resources or use the environment as a bottomless sink simply have to be cut back.

A number of papers focusing on soil quality as an important biophysical indicator (in addition to air and water quality) are introduced by Papendick and Parr [1992], who edited special issues of the American Journal of Alternative Agriculture [7:1 and 2, 1992] on soil quality indicators. They submit that soil quality is the key to sustainability. Soil quality affects water infiltration and holding capacity, nutrient availability and flow, and living organisms.

Parr et al.[1992] emphasize that attributes of soil quality (increased infiltration, aeration, macropores, aggregate size stability, soil organic matter, decreased bulk density, soil resistance, erosion, and nutrient runoff) should not be limited to productivity but must include the more dynamic environmental (species diversity or genetic diversity) and social qualities. Granatstein and Bezdicek [1992], recognize that understanding of soil is based primarily on the quantitative analysis of isolated physical, chemical, and biological properties and argue for an index adaptable to local or regional conditions. Parameters differ as one compares soil quality across crops, for example semi-arid wheat and paddy rice.

Arshad and Coen [1992] examine the principal physical and chemical attributes that can serve as indicators of change in soil quality under particular agroclimatic conditions. Proposed indicators include soil depth to a root-restricting layer, available water-holding capacity, bulk density/ penetration resistance, hydraulic conductivity, aggregate stability, organic matter, nutrient availability/retention capacity, pH, and (where appropriate) electrical conductivity and exchangeable sodium. They briefly touch on socioeconomic factors: They say that the absence of information on land managers' attitudes, knowledge, and practices as they affect soil quality, combined with scientists' traditional focus on the soil rather than its managers, reflect the serious state of degradation.

Visser and Parkinson [1992] review microbiological studies that had been done at a species population level and a community structure level and soil process at the ecosystem level. They argue for an indicator focus at the soil process level (i.e., decomposition rates, soil respiration, microbial biomass carbon, nitrogen cycling, and soil enzyme measurement). Stork and Eggleton [1992] suggest combining invertebrate indicators, key indicator species, taxonomic diversity, and species richness with other biological and nonbiological criteria into a single index of soil quality that could be used on a regional, if not international, basis.

Karlen et al. [1992] identify physical, chemical, and biological indicators that could be used to evaluate human-induced effects on soil quality. Physical indicators include soil tilth and resistance to wind and water erosion. Chemical indicators include inherent soil fertility properties (such as pH, cation and anion exchange capacities, total and available plant nutrients, and salinity) and nutrient cycling or transformation rates. Biological indicators include microbial activity and natural processes of respiration, mineralization, and denitrification. Nutritional indicators also could assess the nutritional quality of plants in relation to the soil in which they grow. Yet without rigorous evaluation, statements attributing either good or bad nutritional effects to soil quality are likely to be invalid and should not be made. In examining soil and crop management practices, they find no single strategy that has the answer, because human-induced and natural factors are not constant. Soil and crop management strategies that focus on soil organic matter and related biological components appear to be the best ways to improve or sustain soil quality. Conservation tillage, cover crops, and crop rotations are specific practices around which programs should be formed.

Gregorich et al. [1994] propose a minimum data set for estimating soil organic matter quality. Soil structural processes, such as the formation and stabilization of aggregates and macropores, are affected by the total organic matter, microbial biomass, and carbohydrates. Nutrient storage in soils can be assessed by evaluating the quantity of organic carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). Also, the total amount and the proportions of total organic C and N, microbial biomass, mineralizable C and N, and the light refraction also will provide information on soil nutrient storage. Attributes such as microbial biomass, enzymes, and mineralizable C and N are measures of biological activity in soils.

Larson and Pierce [1991, 1994] propose that a minimum data set (MDS) together with a pedotransfer function (PTF) be designed to monitor soil quality changes over time. The 10 indicators of the MDS include nutrient availability, total and labile organic C, texture, plant-available water capacity, structure, strength, maximum rooting depth, pH, and electrical conductivity. These quantify critical properties sensitive to changes in soil management practices. They note that no consensus exists yet on what an MDS should include. Because soil attributes are interrelated, one attribute often can be predicted from others. Therefore, PTF's can be used to extend the utility of the MDS to monitor soil quality.

Doran and Parkin [1994] set criteria by which basic soil quality indicators should be selected: 1) encompass ecosystem processes and relate to process oriented modeling; 2) integrate soil physical, chemical, and biological properties and processes; 3) be accessible to many users and applicable to field conditions; 4) be sensitive to variations in management and climate; 5) where possible, be components of existing soil data bases. They then proposed seven soil physical characteristics, three chemical characteristics, and five biological characteristics to be included as basic indicators of soil quality.

Risser [1995] gives a variety of biophysical factors that could be used as indicators of grassland ecosystem sustainability. Five indicators are proposed: rangeland condition rating, peak standing crop of vegetation, plant species diversity, soil organic matter in the top 20 cm of soil, and N content in vegetation. If these indicators meet certain criteria, he felt that essential grassland properties should persist indefinitely, regardless of the use made of the grassland.

Weil et al. [1993] examines the effects of intensity of agronomic practices on a soil ecosystem. A combination of measures (organic matter accumulation, soil porosity, field soil respiration, carbon dioxide evolved during incubation, and mineral N released) showed clearly that soil biological activity was enhanced in the systems that minimized tillage. Grass was shown to be valuable in soil conservation and improvement. The amount of tillage could become a sustainability indicator.

Logsdon et al. [1993] reports on techniques of an infiltration study under alternative farming systems. Results from small single rings were more reproducible than those from rainfall simulators or double ring infiltrometers, and data trends were the same as for rainfall simulators. Infiltration was greater under alternative practices (which included the effect of cover, reduced tillage, and higher organic matter content) than under conventional agriculture. Berry and Karlen [1993] found that as the amount of tillage increased, the number of earthworms generally decreased. Jordahl and Karlen [1993] report that the combined effects of alternative practices (rotations, ridge-tilling, manure, and sludge) resulted in greater water stability of soil aggregates, higher soil organic matter content, and lower bulk density compared with conventional practices. A question raised by this research is whether to measure soil characteristics or accept that certain management practices lead to greater likelihood of sustainability and document their use.

Sands et al. [1993] presents a conceptual framework for the development of an environmental sustainability index for irrigated agricultural systems. The framework comprises: 1) indicators of inherent soil productivity of the system, 2) indicators of the agricultural system's potential to degrade the surrounding environment, and 3) indicators of ecosystem stability from an energetic standpoint. The selection of various indicators within the framework is outlined. Rao [1993) also reviews selected literature on indicators of irrigation performance. These included water delivery systems (adequacy, timeliness, equity, joint effects); the irrigated agriculture system (agricultural productivity); the agricultural economic system; social indicators; sustainability indicators; systematic descriptors; and process indicators.

Pankhurst et al. [1994] edited a book consisting of an introduction and four sections: management of introduced soil organisms (7 chapters); management of existing soil biota and soil biota processes (11 chapters); management strategies to enhance the activity of beneficial soil biota (3 chapters); and biological indicators of soil quality and crop productivity (6 chapters). Authors address the role of soil biota in sustainable agriculture and their indicators.



Kline [1993], who defined a "sustainable community" in terms of economic security, ecological integrity, quality of life, and empowerment with responsibility, also focused on developing indicators to measure progress towards community development. The framework used centers around the four characteristics defined in the first project. "Vital signs" (clean water, clean air, safe neighborhoods, jobs) need to be differentiated from "sustainable community indicators" that reflect a measurement of progress towards a community as a whole. Here she talks about paradigm shifts in thinking, for example, a more sustainable community seeks to create economic security (new paradigm) rather than economic growth or economic development (old paradigm); it seeks ecological integrity rather than environmental protection. Vital signs are useful indicators of public concern but are not substitutes for sustainability indicators. She notes the difficulty in identifying good sustainability indicators, because data collection and analysis techniques are designed for the old, not new, paradigms.

Flora [1990] examines how a shift to sustainable agriculture would affect the ability of a community to solve its common problems and carry on a number of functions that a community performs: providing opportunity for making a living, socializing community members, exercising social control, participating in group activities, and caring for those in need in crisis situations. Though not discussed as indicators of sustainability, the status of these community functions could be viable points to monitor.

Meares' [1995] study of gender as a social construct in the perceptions of quality of life within farm families practicing sustainable agriculture indicates the difficulty of separating family unit (or household) quality of life issues from whole-farm quality of life issues.

Dobbs and Cole [1992] used several economic indicators in their study of conversion from conventional to sustainable agriculture: changes in income of agricultural households; backward linkages to input supply firms; forward linkages to transportation, processing, and marketing firms; and changes in consumer expenditures. Estimations had to be used at times, but actual communities were looked at and farmer production and cost records (conventional and alternative) were used. This material is not very farmer friendly in its presentation, but it is part of a much needed body of literature that looks at alternative practices from an economic perspective.

Faeth [1993] calls for a natural-resource accounting framework to be attached to the economic accounting model to determine true costs and incomes. Nothing is said about where the natural-resource charges would go or how they would be reinvested. Lee [1992] reviews the literature to construct a perspective on the economic impacts of reduce use of agricultural chemicals. Tradeoffs become the theme for considerable debate: the value of human health and the environment weighed against the effects of aggregate farm income and consumer food prices.

Madden [1990] presents information that is more background than indicator specific. He reviews what is known about the profitability of alternative farming methods and systems generally considered more sustainable than conventional practices. He then suggests some challenges remaining in this area.

Lefroy and Hobbs [1992] bring out the fact that different constraints affect agricultural systems at different scales of operation. Ecological parameters for the assessment of land use on farms in the wheat belt of Western Australia are suggested for the water cycle, the nutrient cycle, energy, and diversity.



Benbrook and Mallinckrodt [1994] talk of indicators from the points of view of policy making and national monitoring. Forces leading to unsustainable patterns of resources in agriculture typically arise from outside rural areas and often are imposed as a consequence of policy, markets, or patterns of investment. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) thus is shifting their emphasis towards policy development in an attempt to alter policies and economic forces in ways that actively promote more sustainable patterns of resource use and economic activity. Core components of the SARD (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Development) index include pressure on resources, productivity changes, food security for the population, and income and self-reliance.

Dovers [1990] also writes from a policy point of view. Recognizing the correct place for sustainability concerns in the policy-making mode is explored using a list of the contexts of sustainability , i.e. ecological, biological, economic, resource, survivalist, social, spatial, temporal, sectoral, cultural political, and probability. Finally, he says that sustainability is not the end result but the process of change. MacRae et al. [1990] review how the development of political policies can help support the transition from conventional to sustainable agriculture. They feel that a framework is needed to identify the most critical programs, policies, and regulations for such a transition. Their indicators are from past research work. They propose efficiency strategies, removing the primary restraining forces, substitution strategies, changing reward systems for research diffusion and training, and providing safety nets and production-incentive programs. They then propose a national goal for a sustainable food system and related ecological principles.



Dunlap et al. [1992] compare farmer and university faculty perceptions about the components of sustainable agriculture. They conclude that, regardless of whose definition of sustainability proves most useful, all stakeholders will benefit from a better understanding of what terms mean to other actors in the debate. For example, Walter [1993] points out that farmers may have different cues from researchers in evaluating the validity of research. Some research trials that farmers reviewed were found to be good science, but bad farming -- they were not practical at a farm level. Farmers say they ultimately want results from other farmers' applications of farming practices, but they also look for indications that those results were derived by sound scientific practices. Young et al. [1992] looked at different characteristics of conventional and sustainable farmers to see how the criteria used in classification differ. Researchers have to be explicit about their classification schemes, and literature reviews must consider the implications of different classifications on researchers' results. Care must be taken not to overgeneralize the results of any one study.

Romig et al. [1995] review their recent work examining the nature of farmers' assessment of soil health. This input led to the development of the Wisconsin Soil Health Scorecard, a farmer-based field tool to assess and monitor soil quality and health. The distribution of the top 50 soil health properties identified by farmers and placed within their relative systems gave prominent attention to soil properties (60%) followed by plant (30%), animal/human (6%), and water (2%) properties.

Savory [1988] in a book and Bingham and Savory [1990] in a workbook provide both the justification and means of using Holistic Management (HM) as a whole-farm planning tool (Formerly HM was referred to as Holistic Resource Management). Indicators are basic tools for monitoring movement towards the personal or farm goal. In both the book and workbook financial and biological planning and monitoring techniques are presented.

Kroos [1993a and b] presents a simplified version of the HM model, which shows how the indicators chosen for monitoring contribute to reaching farm goals. Cropland principles to use in selecting indicators include keeping the soil surface covered; maintaining a complexity of plants, insects, and organisms; maximizing crop complexity and edge effect when laying out fields; not mowing and spraying field edges; not turning soil over; and utilizing grazing animals in breaking down and composting plant residue.

Levins [1996] presents four simple financial ratios that can serve as social and environmental indicators. They are: 1) contribution of government money to gross income, 2) amount spent on equipment and nonrenewable resources relative to gross income, 3) amount spent on labor (including net income) relative to gross income, and 4) the balance between feed production and feed use also relative to gross income. These ratios serve to emphasize the importance of using renewable resources as compared to off-farm and nonrenewable resources.

Hewlett [1995] oversees the W.I.R.E. (Western Integrated Ranch/Farm Management) home page on the Internet: (http// This Wyoming extension program focuses on "whole" farm/ranch management systems where the components, including setting goals, priorities, decision making, planning, budgeting, keeping records, and performing monitoring and evaluations, keep the manager in a proactive rather than a reactive mode. Specific indicators used in monitoring are not listed.

Ritchie [1995] shares how the Dutch Yardstick has been used as an effective tool in the Netherlands to reduce pesticide and other chemical uses. Information collected includes the chemical used, amount applied per acre, time of application, and method of application. Each factor is given a numerical score that signifies the estimated negative impact. Based on this information, farmers make informed decisions about reduced impact. This documented reduction in impact has had financial benefit for farmers. A similar program is now being tested in Minnesota, the Nutrient Management Yardstick [IATP, 1996]. This program, as the name implies, focuses on nutrient balances and does not cover pesticide uses.

The Ontario Farm Environmental Coalition's [1994] workbook, the Ontario Environmental Farm Plan, consisting of 48 worksheets, provides the indicators farmers need to evaluate the status of their farm practices and physical facility. Conditions on the farm or practices used are rated on a 1-4 scale. After evaluating, farmers are encouraged to develop action plans to remedy poor scoring areas identified during the evaluation. This is a self-assessment tool, so regulatory threats are not present. In fact, tax credits can be acquired by working to correct practices identified as needing correction. Bidgood [1995] quantified actions taken by Simcoe County farmers as a result of participating in the Ontario Environmental Farm Plan. Farmers who had participated in the OEFP were surveyed about the reasons they participated; for the self-assessment or the up to $500 grant for which participants are eligible. Self assessment was important, but many also had used or planned to use the $500 grants. Here, the OEFP worksheets helps participants evaluate the status of their farm practices and situation.

Boody and Johnson [1994] present the plan for the Land Stewardship Project to identify and monitor farmer-friendly indicators of ecological, financial, and social changes associated with management intensive grazing and the conventional animal production model. Extensive ecological measurements are being taken so that they can see which factors are or are not affected by the different management practices. FinAn, a component of Finpack, will be used for overall financial analysis. Gross margin analysis following the Wallace [1963] report will be done. Social monitoring assessment will be through interviews that will look at quality of life issues.

The annual report of the Land Stewardship Project [1995] indicates the results of a second years' research in Minnesota aimed at identifying farmer-friendly indicators for on-farm monitoring of sustainability. Selected findings include lab results (i.e., soil nitrate, water stable soil aggregates, microbial biomass carbon, fecal coliform bacteria and turbidity levels in streams) and field observations (i.e., earthworm counts, bird species, stream width, frogs and toads). Work on economics [Levins, 1996] and quality of life [Meares, 1995] progressed.

Hunt and Gilkes [1992] compiled a handbook filled with practical monitoring techniques that focus mostly on soils within the Australian context. Good information for the interpretation of test results also is given.

At the SANREM CRSP conference, the presentation that had the most farmer-friendly quality was that by Hitt [1994] who spoke about indicators, but maybe more importantly, the interaction between researchers and farmers. Another paper [Deutsch et al, 1994] touched the spiritual side of indicators. They say that the values used in establishing indicators have to be in line with our personal (spiritual) values.

Extension Agricultural Engineering's [1994] Farm-A-Syst goal is to help farmers protect the groundwater that supplies their drinking water. It has a worksheet format (7 sections) "intended only to provide general information and recommendations to farmers regarding their farmstead practices". Completing the worksheets provides indicators of the status of the farmsteads condition.



The above reviews only touch the surface of the literature on indicators that is available, but we hope that the reader will get a sense of the diversity of the ideas shared through these various articles and realize, as Hart [1994] says, that opinion is not united in one direction. In the next few years, we anticipate that this body of literature will grow rapidly, and readers are encouraged to go to the source documents to gain a full appreciation of the ideas presented. The following section describes a system for classifying this literature on indicators and presents the classification in a table format. The classification is based on our interpretation of the best fit, but you may find an article's subject matter to fit other areas also.



A. Farmer orientation

  1. Farmer friendly - presents farm level tools, reports farmer opinion/ experiences
  2. Academic oriented - research bias, conceptual and discussion papers, defining parameters for further research

B. Basis of report

  1. Basic Research - basic science, e.g., soil structure chemistry
  2. Applied Research - applying science in field, e.g., infiltration, earthworms
  3. Theoretical Frameworks - for classifying indicators
  4. Planning/Management tool - application of indicators
  5. Conceptual - not indicator specific, more overview

C. Orientation of the paper

  1. Environmental - focus is on biology, ecosystem

a Soil quality
b Species diversity
c Water quality
d Energy source
e Monitoring

  1. Economic - focus on cost, finance, return on investment

a Accounting
b Forward planning
c Monitoring

  1. Social/Community - focus on social and community issues
  2. Whole-farm - thinking integrates all of the above at farm level
  3. Global - considers the above, but at broader, theoretical or overview levels

D. Scale of focus

  1. Micro - farmer applicable or having a farmer/community source of information that reveals used practices.
  2. Macro - presents broad frameworks with regional, global application

E. Whole-farm planning emphasis

  1. 1 Present
  2. Implied, but not emphasized
  3. Absent

F. Applicable for: - where the article can be used best

  1. Farm/community level
  2. State/national level
  3. International level
  4. All levels

G. Source of the article - author's institutional or research base



AUTHOR and [Year of pub] A B C D E F G
Arshad & Coen [1992] 2 2 1a 1,2 2 4 Alberta
Bellows, ed [1994] 1,2 5 1,2,3,4,5 1,2 1 4 N. Carolina
Benbrook & Mallinckrodt [1994] 2 3 5 2 2 3 International
Berry & Karlen [1993] 2 2 1a,b 1,2 3 3 Iowa
Bidgood [1995] 1 4 4 1,2 1 4 Ontario
Bingham & Savory [1990] 1 4 1 1 1 1 New Mexico
Boody & Johnson [1994] 1,2 2,4 4 1,2 1 4 Minnesota
Campbell et al. [1995] 2 3 1 2 2 3 United States
Crissman [1994] 2 3 5 2 2 4 Peru
Deutsch et al. [1994] 1,2 3 4 1 2 1 Philippines
Dobbs & Cole [1992] 2 2 2 1,2 1 1 South Dakota
Doran et al, eds [1994] 2 2,3 1a 1,2 2 4 United States
Doran & Parkin [1994] 2 3 1a 1,2 2 4 Nebraska/Iowa
Dovers [1990] 2 5 5 2 2 3 Australia
Dumanski et al. [1991] 2 3 5 2 2 4 US
Dunlap et al. [1992] 1,2 5 5 1,2 2 4 Washington
Edwards et al. [1993] 2 5 5 2 1 4 Ohio
Eswaran et al. [1994] 2 3 5 2 2 3 Washington DC
Extension Ag Engineering [1994] 1 4 1c 1 1 1 Kansas
Faeth [1993] 2 3 2 2 2 4 Washington DC
Flora [1990] 2 2 3 2 2 4 Iowa
Flora [1992] 2 3,5 5 1,2 2 4 Iowa
Granatstein & Bezdicek [1992] 2 3 1a 2 2 2 Washington
Gregorich et al. [1994] 2 3 1a 2 2 4 Canada
Hamblin, ed [1992] 2 3,5 5 2 3 2 Australia
Harrington [ 1992] 2 3 5 2 2 4 Thailand
Harrington et al. [1990] 1,2 2 1,2,3 1,2 2 4 Nepal
Hart [1994] 2 5 4,5 1,2 2 4 United States
Heinonen [1993] 2 3 5 2 2 4 Finland
Hewlett [1995] 1 4 4 1 1 1 Wyoming
Hitt [1994] 1 4 4 1 1 4 N Carolina
Hunt & Gilkes [1992] 1,2 3,4 4 1,2 1 1 Australia
IATP [1996] 1 4 1 1 1 1 Minnesota
Jordahl and Karlen [1993] 2 2 1a,c 1,2 2 4 Iowa
Karlen et al. [1992] 2 3 1a 1,2 2 1 Iowa
Kaul et al. [1994] 1,2 3,4 4,5 2 2 4 France
Kline [1993] 2 3 3 2 2 1 Massachusetts
Kroos [1993a] 1 4 4 1,2 1 4 Montana
Kroos [1993b] 1 4 1,4 1,2 1 4 Montana
Kuik & Verbruggen, eds [1991] 2 3,5 5 2 2 4 Netherlands
Land Stewardship Project [1995] 1,2 2,4 1,2,3,4 1 1 1 Minnesota
Larson & Pierce [1991] 2 3 1a 2 2 4 Minn/Mich
Larson & Pierce [1994] 2 3 1a 2 2 4 Minn/Mich
Lee [1992] 2 2 1,2 1,2 2 4 Connecticut
Lefroy & Hobbs [1992] 2 3 1 1,2 2 1 Australia
Levins [1996] 1 3,4 2,4 1 1 1 Minnesota
Lightfoot [1994] 2 3 4,5 1,2 2 4 Philippines
Liverman et al. [1988] 2 3 5 1,2 3 4 US
Logsdon et al. [1993] 2 2 1a,c 1,2 2 1 Iowa
MacRae et al. [1990] 2 2,3 5 2 2 2 Canada
Madden [1990] 2 3 2,5 1,2 2 4 California
Madden [1994] 2 5 5 2 2 4 California
McQuaid et al. [1994] 1,2 3 1a 1,2 2 4 North Carolina
Meares [1995] 1,2 2 3,4 1 1 1 Minnesota
Mitchell et al. [1995] 2 3 5 2 2 4 International
Muller [1994] 2 3,4 4 2 2 4 Costa Rica
Munasinghe & Shearer, ed [1995] 2 3 1 2 2 4 United Nations
Neher [1992] 2 3,4 1 1,2 2 4 North Carolina
NWAF [1996] 2 2 1a 1,2 2 4 Iowa
Oades et al. [1994] 2 3 1 1,2 2 4 Australia
Ontario Farm Env Coalition[1994] 1 4 2 1 2 1 Ontario
Pankhurst et al., eds [1994] 2 2,3 1 1,2 3 4 Australia
Papendick and Parr [1992] 2 3 5 2 2 4 USDA
Parr et al. [1992] 2 3 1a 2 2 4 USDA
Petry [1994] 2 3 5 2 3 2 Netherlands
Rao [1993] 2 3 5 1,2 2 4 Sri Lanka
Risser [1995] 2 3 1 2 2 4 USA
Ritchie [1995] 1 4 1,2 1 2 1 the Netherlands
Romig et al. [1995] 1 2,3,4 1a 1 2 1 Wisconsin
Sanders [1992] 2 3 5 2 3 3 FAO
Sands et al. [1993] 2 3 1,2 1,3 3 4 Illinois
Savory [1988] 1,2 2,3,4 1,2,3,4,5 1,2 1 4 New Mexico
Stockle et al. [1994] 2 3 4 1 1 1 Washington
Stork & Eggleton [1992] 2 2 1b 1,2 3 4 England
Syers et al. [1994] 2 3 5 2 3 4 Mexico
Taylor et al. [ 1993] 1,2 3,4 1 1 2 1 Malaysia
Trzyna [1995] 2 3,5 5 1,2 2 4 Argentina
Van Pelt et al. [1995] 2 3 5 2 3 4 International
Visser & Parkinson [1992] 2 2 1a,b,e 1,2 3 1 Alberta
Wallace [1963] 1,2 3,4 2 1 1 1 England
Walter [1993] 1,2 5 4 1,2 2 4 Illinois
Weil et al. [1993] 2 2 1 1,2 2 4 Maryland
Young et al. [1992] 1,2 3 4 1,2 2 1 North Dakota



Arshad, M., and G. Coen, 1992. "Characterization of soil quality: Physical and chemical criteria." American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 7(1-2):25-31.

Bellows, B. (ed), 1994. SANREM CRSP Indicators of Sustainability Conference and Workshop, August 1-5, 1994. Cullowhee, North Carolina: Center for PVO/University Collaboration in Development.

Benbrook, C., and F. Mallinckrodt, 1994. "Indicators of sustainability in the food and fiber sector." SANREM/INFORUM Electronic Conference on Indicators of Sustainability. Erasmus, Pennsylvania: Rodale Press.

Berry, E., and D. Karlen, 1993. "Comparison of alternative farming systems. II. Earthworm population density and species diversity." American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 8(1):21-6.

Bidgood, M., 1995. "A study of actions by Simcoe County Environmental Farm Plan participants." RR 1, Barrie, Ontario l4M 4Y8: Unpublished.

Bingham, S., and A. Savory, 1990. Holistic Resource Management Workbook. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Boody, G., and L. Johnson, 1994. "Ecological, financial, and social monitoring to develop highly sustainable farming practices." Rochester, Minnesota: Land Stewardship Project.

Campbell, C., W. Heck, D. Neher, M. Munster, and D. Hoag, 1995. "Biophysical measurement of the sustainability of temperate agriculture" pp 251-276 in Munasinghe, M. and W. Shearer (eds) Defining and Measuring Sustainability: the Biogeophysical Foundations. New York: United Nations University.

Crissman, C., 1994. "Considerations for selection and prioritization of sustainability indicators." SANREM/INFORUM Electronic Conference on Indicators of Sustainability. Erasmus, Pennsylvania: Rodale Press.

Deutsch, W., G. Tan, J. Orprecio, and C. Neely, 1994. "Return of the water spirits: the role of environmental education in cultural and ecological sustainability." pp 107-110 in Bellows, B. (ed) SANREM CRSP Conference on Indicators of Sustainability. Cullowhee, North Carolina: Center for PVO/University Collaboration in Development.

Dobbs, T., and J. Cole, 1992. "Potential effects on rural economies of conversion to sustainable farming systems." American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 7(1-2):70-80.

Doran, J., D. Coleman, D. Bezdicek, and B. Stewart (eds), 1994. Defining Soil Quality for a Sustainable Environment. Special Publication #35, Madison, Wisconsin: Soil Science Society of America.

Doran, J., and T. Parkin, 1994. "Defining and assessing soil quality." pp 3-21 in Doran, J., D. Coleman, D. Bezdicek, and B. Stewart (eds) Defining Soil Quality for a Sustainable Environment. Special Publication #35, Madison, Wisconsin: Soil Science Society of America.

Dovers, S., 1990. "Sustainability in context: An Australian perspective." Environmental Management 14(3):297-305.

Dumanski, J., H. Eswaran, and M. Latham, 1991. "A proposal for an international framework for evaluating sustainable land management." Evaluation for Sustainable Land Management in the Developing World. IBSRAM Technical Papers No. 12-2 (2):25-45.

Dunlap, R., C. Beus, R. Howell, and J. Waud, 1992. "What is sustainable agriculture? An empirical examination of faculty and farmer definitions." Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 3(1):5-39.

Edwards, C., T. Grove, R. Harwood, and C. Colfer, 1993. "The role of agroecology in integrated farming systems in agricultural sustainability." Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 46:99-121.

Eswaran, H., E. Pushparajah, and C. Ofori, 1994. "Indicators and their utilization in a framework for evaluation of sustainable land management." SANREM/INFORUM Electronic Conference on Indicators of Sustainability. Erasmus, Pennsylvania: Rodale Press.

Extension Agricultural Engineering, 1994. "Farm-A-Syst: Farmstead Assessment System, An Action Program for Safe Drinking Water." MF-1050. Manhattan: Cooperative Extension Service, Kansas State University.

Faeth, P., 1993. "An economic framework for evaluating agricultural policy and the sustainability of production systems." Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 46:161-173.

Flora, C., 1990. "Sustainability of agriculture and rural communities" pp 343-359 in Francis, C., C. Flora, and L. King (eds) Sustainable Agriculture in Temperate Zone. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Flora, C.B., 1992. "Building sustainable agriculture: a new application of farming systems research and extension." Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 2(3):37-49.

Gold, M., 1994. Sustainable Agriculture: Definitions and Terms. SRB 94-05. Beltsville, Maryland: Alternative Farming Systems Information Center, National Agricultural Library.

Granatstein, D., and D. Bezdicek, 1992. "The need for a soil quality index: Local and regional perspectives." American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 7(1-2):12-16.

Gregorich, E., M. Carter, D. Angers, C. Montreal, and B. Ellert, 1994. "Towards a minimum data set to assess soil organic matter quality in agricultural soils." Canadian Journal of Soil Science 74:367-385.

Hamblin, A. (ed), 1992. Environmental Indicators for Sustainable Agriculture: Report on a National Workshop, November 28-29. Parkes, Australia: Bureau of Rural Resources.

Hambly, H. and T.O. Angura (eds), 1996. Grassroots Indicators for Desertification: Experience and Perspectives from Eastern and Southern Africa. Ottawa, Canada: International Development Research Center.

Harrington, L., 1992. "Measuring sustainability: Issues and alternatives." Journal of Farming Systems Research-Extension 3(1):1-19.

Harrington, L., P. Hobbs, B. Pokhrel, S. Fujisaka, and C. Lightfoot, 1990. "The rice-wheat pattern in the Nepal Terai: Issues in the identification and definition of sustainability problems." Journal of Farming Systems Research-Extension 1(2):1-27.

Hart, B. (ed), 1994. SANREM/INFORUM Electronic Conference on Indicators of Sustainability. Erasmus, Pennsylvania: Rodale Press.

Heinonen, E.,1993. "Sustainability in agriculture: how to define it and can it be measured?" SANREM/ INFORUM Electronic Conference on Indicators of Sustainability. Erasmus, Pennsylvania: Rodale Press.

Hewlett, J., 1995. "W.I.R.E., an integrated management program." Laramie, Wyoming: Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, University of Wyoming.

Hitt, A., 1994. "How farmers perceive changes in sustainability and how interactions with researchers affect their practices." pp 101-105 in Bellows, B. (ed) SANREM CRSP Proceedings of the Indicators of Sustainability Conference and Workshop, August 1-5, 1994. Cullowhee, North Carolina: Center for PVO/University Collaboration in Development.

Hunt, N., and B. Gilkes, 1992. Farm Monitoring Handbook 1995. Perth, Western Australia: University of Western Australia Press.

IATP, 1996. "Nutrient Management Yardstick." Minneapolis, Minnesota: Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

Jordahl, J., and D. Karlen, 1993. "Comparison of alternative farming systems. III. Soil aggregate stability." American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 8(1):27-33.

Karlen, D., N. Eash, and P. Unger, 1992. "Soil and crop management effects on soil quality indicators." American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 7(1-2):48-55.

Kaul, A., K. Draeger, and B. Lewis, 1994. "Methodology for participatory rapid resource assessment with indicators of sustainability." pp 242-247 in Researches Systeme en Agriculture et Developpment Rural: Symposium International, November 21-25, Montpellier, France: CIRAD-SAR.

Kline, E., 1993. "Sustainable community indicators." SANREM/INFORUM Electronic Conference on Indicators of Sustainability. Erasmus, Pennsylvania: Rodale Press.

Kroos, R., 1993a. "Three Part Goal." Belgrade, Montana: Crossroads & Company.

Kroos, R., 1993b. "Monitoring Croplands Biologically." Belgrade, Montana: Crossroad & Company.

Kuik, O., and H. Verbruggen (ed), 1991. In Search of Indicators of Sustainable Development. Vol 1, Environment and Management. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Land Stewardship Project, 1995. "Biological, financial and social monitoring to develop highly sustainable farming systems." Annual Report, 1995. White Bear Lake, Minnesota.

Larson, W., and F. Pierce, 1991. "Conservation and enhancement of soil quality." pp 175-203 in Evaluation for Sustainable Land Management in the Developing World. Vol. 2. IBSRAM Proceedings 12(2). Bangkok, Thailand: International Board for Soil Resource and Management.

Larson, W., and F. Pierce, 1994. "The dynamics of soil quality as a measure of sustainable management." pp 37-51 in Doran, J., D. Coleman, D. Bezdicek, and B. Stewart (eds) Defining Soil Quality for a Sustainable Environment. Special Publication #35. Madison, Wisconsin: Soil Science Society of America.

Lee, L., 1992. "A perspective on the economic impacts of reducing agricultural chemical use." American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 7(1-2):82-88.

Lefroy, E., and R. Hobbs, 1992. "Ecological indicators for sustainable agriculture." Australian Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 5(4):22-28.

Levins, R., 1996. Financial Analysis for Sustainable Agriculture. White Bear Lake, Minnesota: Land Stewardship Project.

Lightfoot, C., 1994. "Integrated resource management." SANREM/INFORUM Electronic Conference on Indicators of Sustainability. Erasmus, Pennsylvania: Rodale Press.

Liverman, D., M. Hanson, B. Brown, and R. Meredith, 1988. "Global sustainability: toward measurement." Environmental Management 12(2):133-143.

Logsdon, S., J. Radke, and D. Karlen, 1993. "Comparison of alternative farming systems: I. Infiltration techniques." American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 8(1):15-20.

MacRae, R., S. Hill, J. Henning, and A. Bentley, 1990. "Policies, programs, and regulations to support the transition to sustainable agriculture in Canada." American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 2(2):76-92.

Madden, J., 1990. "The economics of sustainable low-input farming systems." pp 315-341 in Francis, C., C. Flora and L. King (eds). Sustainable Agriculture in Temperate Zones. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Madden, J., 1994. "Indicators of sustainable agriculture development: concepts and illustrations." pp 1-13 in Bellows, B. (ed) SANREM CRSP Proceedings of the Indicators of Sustainability Conference and Workshop, August 1-5, 1994. Cullowhee, North Carolina: Center for PVO/University Collaboration in Development.

McQuaid, B., L. Campbell, and D. Neher, 1994. "EMAP - Agricultural Lands, A Beginners Guide." Raleigh, North Carolina: EMAP-Agricultural Lands.

Meares, A., 1995. Gender as a Social Construct of Quality of Life within Farm Families Practicing Sustainable Agriculture. Master Thesis, Blacksburg, Virginia: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Mitchell, G., A. May, and A. McDonald, 1995. "PICABUE: a methodological framework for the development of indicators of sustainable development." International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology 2(2):104-123.

Muller, S., 1994. "Development of a framework for the derivation of sustainability indicators and application of the framework in the Rio Reventado Watershed in Costa Rica." pp 15-42 in Bellows, B. (ed) SANREM CRSP Proceedings of the Indicators of Sustainability Conference and Workshop, August 1-5, 1994. Cullowhee, North Carolina: Center for PVO/University Collaboration in Development.

Munasinghe, M., and W. Shearer, 1995. "An introduction to the definition and measurement of biogeophysical sustainability." pp xvii-xxxiii in Munasinghe, M., and W. Shearer (eds).Defining and Measuring Sustainability: the Biogeophysical Foundations. New York: United Nations University.

Neher, D., 1992. "Ecological sustainability in agricultural systems: definition and measurement." Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 2:51-61.

Norman, D., R. Janke, S. Freyenberger, B. Schurle, and H. Kok, 1997. Defining and Implementing Sustainable Agriculture. Kansas Sustainable Agriculture Series. Manhattan, Kansas: Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension.

North West Area Foundation, 1996. "Soil quality a guide to conservation." a folder from a training workshop held July 17-18 in Ames, Iowa. Carrington, North Dakota: Northwest Area Foundation Soil Quality Project, NDSU Carrington Research and Extension Center.

Oades, J., and L. Walters, 1994. "Indicators for sustainable agriculture: policies to paddock." pp 219-223 in Pankhurst, C., B. Doube, and V. Gupta (ed) Soil Biota Management in Sustainable Farming Systems East Melbourne, Australia: CSIRO Publications.

Ontario Farm Environmental Coalition, 1994. Ontario Environmental Farm Plan. Toronto.

Pankhurst, C., B. Doube, and V. Gupta (ed), 1994. Soil Biota Management in Sustainable Farming Systems East Melbourne, Australia: CSIRO Publications.

Papendick, R., and J. Parr, 1992. "Soil quality - the key to a sustainable agriculture." American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 7(1&2):3-4.

Parr, J., R. Papendick, S. Hornick, and R. Meyer, 1992. "Soil quality: Attributes and relationship to alternative and sustainable agriculture." American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 7(1-2):5-11.

Petry, F., 1994. "Indicators for sustainable agriculture and rural development, and tools for analysis." pp 213-231 in Paruccini, M. (ed) Applying Multiple Criteria Aid for Decision to Environmental Management. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Rao, P., 1993. Review of Selected Literature on Indicators of Irrigation Performance. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Irrigation Management Institute.

Risser, P., 1995. "Indicators of grassland sustainability: a first approximation." pp 309-319 in Munasinghe, M., and W. Shearer (eds) .Defining and Measuring Sustainability: the Biogeophysical Foundations. New York: United Nations University.

Ritchie, M., 1995. "Yardsticks: A bio-regional approach to sustainable agriculture and protecting our water." Minneapolis, Minnesota: Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

Romig, D., M. Garlynd, R. Harris, and K. McSweeney, 1995. "How farmers assess soil health and quality." Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 50:229-236.

Sanders, D., 1992. "International activities in assessing and monitoring soil degradation." American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 7(1-2):17-24.

Sands, G., T. Padmore, and J. Mitchell, 1993. "Development of an environmental sustainability index for irrigated agricultural systems. pp 71-80 in Integrated Resource Management and Landscape Modification for Environmental Protection. Proceeding of an International Symposium, December 13-14, Chicago, Illinois. St. Joseph, Missouri: American Society of Agricultural Engineers.

Savory, A., 1988. Holistic Resource Management. Covello, California: Island Press.

Stockle, C., R. Papendick, K. Saxton, G. Campbell, and F. van Evert, 1994. "A framework for evaluating the sustainability of agricultural production systems." American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 9(1-2):45-50.

Stork, N., and P. Eggleton, 1992. "Invertebrates as determinants and indicators of soil quality." American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 7(1-2):38-47.

Syers, J., A. Hamblin, and E. Pushparajah, 1994. "Development of indicators and thresholds for the evaluation of sustainable land management." pp 379-387 in 15th World Congress of Soil Science, Vol 6, Commission VI Symposia. Chapingo, Mexico: Sociedad Mexicana de la Ciencia del Suelo.

Taylor, D., Z. Mohamed, M. Shamsudin, M. Mahayidin, and E. Chiew, 1993. "Creating a farmer sustainability index: A Malaysian case study." American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 8(4):175-184.

Trzyna, T., 1995. A Sustainable World: defining and Measuring Sustainable Development. Sacramento, California: International Center for the Environment and Public Policy for the World Conservation Union.

Van Pelt, M., A. Kuyvenhoeven, and P. Nijkamp, 1995. "Environmental sustainability: issues of definition and measurement." International Journal of Environment and Pollution 5(2-3):204-223.

Visser, S., and D. Parkinson, 1992. "Soil biological criteria as indicators of soil quality: soil microorganisms." American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 7(1-2):33-37.

Wallace, D., and H. Burr, 1963. "Planning on the Farm." Report No. 60. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Farm Economics Branch, University of Cambridge.

Walter, G., 1993. "Farmers' use of validity cues to evaluate reports of field-scale agricultural research." American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 8(3):107-117.

Weil, R., K. Lowell, and H. Shade, 1993. "Effects of intensity of agronomic practices on a soil ecosystem." American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 8(1):5-14.

Young, G., G. Goreham, and D. Watt, 1992. "Classifying conventional and sustainable farmers: Does it matter how you measure?" Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 2(2):91-115.

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