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Modelling the interactions between regional farming structure, nitrogen losses and environmental regulation

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  • Happe, K.
  • Hutchings, N.J.
  • Dalgaard, T.
  • Kellerman, K.
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    Abstract

    Changes in the structure of agriculture are known to affect emissions of environmental pollutants from agriculture. Such changes are often driven by structural changes in agricultural production, so structural changes are likely to have indirect effects on emissions. In a pilot study, we consider how linking two complementary simulation models might be used to explore these effects. The agent-based AgriPoliS model was used to simulate the structural dynamics of agricultural production. The results from AgriPoliS were passed via a number of intermediate models to the Farm-N model, which was used to estimate the nitrogen surplus and losses from each farm for each year. The modelling complex was exercised by simulating the effects of two plausible policy scenarios for each of 14Â years. The initial sizes and types of farms were based on statistics from a region in Denmark and the farms were randomly distributed within this region. The reference scenario (REF) implemented the current area-based Common Agricultural Policy payments for Denmark. The 1Â LU scenario applied the additional constraint that a minimum area of 1Â ha land had to be available for the application of the manure produced by one livestock unit. Substantial changes in the structure of agricultural production were shown for both scenarios. The effect on the regional nitrogen surpluses was predicted to differ between scenarios and the contribution of the different farm types to change with time. Predicted ammonia emission changed with time and differed between the scenarios, whereas the Danish fertiliser and manure legislation meant that nitrate leaching remained fairly stable. The implementation of additional environmental legislation significantly changed the trajectory of structural adjustment processes. Results emphasize the complex interplay between structural changes, losses of nitrogen, and environmental regulation. It is concluded that the effects of structural change on environmental emissions can be usefully explored by linking agent-based models of farmers' investment decisions with other models describing nutrient losses from the farm and that such modelling can play a useful role in designing effective environmental policies for agriculture. However, the approach demands the availability or collection of many region-specific data and this could create a barrier to its use.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Agricultural Systems.

    Volume (Year): 104 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (March)
    Pages: 281-291

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:104:y:2011:i:3:p:281-291

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/agsy

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    Keywords: Emissions; Farm structure; Nitrogen surplus; Nitrogen losses; Structural change; Agent-based modelling;

    References

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    1. Happe, Kathrin & Balmann, Alfons & Kellermann, Konrad & Sahrbacher, Christoph, 2008. "Does structure matter? The impact of switching the agricultural policy regime on farm structures," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 431-444, August.
    2. Janssen, Sander & van Ittersum, Martin K., 2007. "Assessing farm innovations and responses to policies: A review of bio-economic farm models," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 622-636, June.
    3. Semaan, Josephine & Flichman, Guillermo & Scardigno, Alessandra & Steduto, Pasquale, 2007. "Analysis of nitrate pollution control policies in the irrigated agriculture of Apulia Region (Southern Italy): A bio-economic modelling approach," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 357-367, May.
    4. van Calker, K. J. & Berentsen, P. B. M. & de Boer, I. M. J. & Giesen, G. W. J. & Huirne, R. B. M., 2004. "An LP-model to analyse economic and ecological sustainability on Dutch dairy farms: model presentation and application for experimental farm "de Marke"," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 139-160, November.
    5. Vatn, Arild & Bakken, Lars & Bleken, Marina A. & Baadshaug, Ole Hans & Fykse, Haldor & Haugen, Lars E. & Lundekvam, Helge & Morken, John & Romstad, Eirik & Rorstad, Per Kristian & Skjelvag, Arne O. & , 2006. "A methodology for integrated economic and environmental analysis of pollution from agriculture," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 88(2-3), pages 270-293, June.
    6. Carlo Fezzi & Dan Rigby & Ian J. Bateman & David Hadley & Paulette Posen, 2008. "Estimating the range of economic impacts on farms of nutrient leaching reduction policies," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(2), pages 197-205, 09.
    7. Kathrin Happe & Hauke Schnicke & Christoph Sahrbacher & Konrad Kellermann, 2009. "Will They Stay or Will They Go? Simulating the Dynamics of Single-Holder Farms in a Dualistic Farm Structure in Slovakia," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 57(4), pages 497-511, December.
    8. Uthes, Sandra & Piorr, Annette & Zander, Peter & Bienkowski, Jerzy & Ungaro, Fabrizio & Dalgaard, Tommy & Stolze, Matthias & Moschitz, Heidrun & Schader, Christian & Happe, Kathrin & Sahrbacher, Amand, 2011. "Regional impacts of abolishing direct payments: An integrated analysis in four European regions," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 110-121, February.
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    Cited by:
    1. Mikkel Bojesen & Hans Skov-Petersen & Morten Gylling, 2013. "Forecasting the potential of Danish biogas production: spatial representation of Markov chains," IFRO Working Paper 2013/16, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
    2. Zheng, Chaohui & Liu, Yi & Bluemling, Bettina & Chen, Jining & Mol, Arthur P.J., 2013. "Modeling the environmental behavior and performance of livestock farmers in China: An ABM approach," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 60-72.
    3. Kirchweger, Stefan & Kantelhardt, Jochen, 2014. "Structural Change and Farm Investment Support in Austria," 88th Annual Conference, April 9-11, 2014, AgroParisTech, Paris, France 170545, Agricultural Economics Society.
    4. Dimitris Kremmydas, 2012. "Agent based modeling for agricultural policy evaluation: A review," Working Papers 2012-3, Agricultural University of Athens, Department Of Agricultural Economics.

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