Presentation from the AAAS annual meeting, San Franciso, 2007
Abstract: Here we use the term agricultural sustainability to describe the challenge of maintaining agricultural production while conserving or improving the quality of natural and managed ecosystems. In focusing on economic and environmental sustainability we are abstracting from rural community issues, wellbeing of hired labor, the preferences with respect to the agricultural marketing system and other issues that are sometime included in discussions of agricultural sustainability. Sustainability of agriculture depends on production and resource use decisions of millions of independent farmers and ranchers. Farmers decide which crops to plant on which land and what practices to use. In addition to the values of the farmers themselves, the drivers of these decisions are technology, expected prices of inputs and outputs, and current and expected regulations and government subsidies or taxes.
See PDF here: Role of Farm Programs in Environmental Sustainability of Agriculture Briefing by Daniel Sumner and Antoine Champetier de Ribes