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Assessing eco-environmental performance of agricultural production in OECD countries: combination of soil surface, soil system and farm gate methods of nutrient auditing

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Nitrogen balance is increasingly used as an indicator of the environmental performance of agricultural sector in national, international, and global contexts. There are three main methods of accounting the national nitrogen balance: farm gate, soil surface, and soil system. OECD (2008) recently reported the nitrogen and phosphorus balances for member countries for the 1985 - 2004 period using the soil surface method. The farm gate and soil system methods were also used in some international projects. Some studies have provided the comparison among these methods and the conclusion is mixed. The motivation of this present paper was to combine these three methods to provide a more detailed auditing of the nitrogen balance and flows for national agricultural production. In addition, the present paper also provided a new strategy of using reliable international and national data sources to calculate nitrogen balance using the farm gate method. The empirical study focused on the nitrogen balance of OECD countries for the period from 1985 to 2003. The N surplus sent to the total environment of OECD surged dramatically in early 1980s, gradually decreased during 1990s but exhibited an increasing trends in early 2000s. The overall N efficiency however fluctuated without a clear increasing trend. The eco-environmental ranking shows that Australia and Ireland were the worst while Korea and Greece were the best.

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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia in its series Discussion Papers Series with number 399.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:qld:uq2004:399

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  1. Viet-Ngu Hoang & Tim Coelli, 2009. "Measurement Of Agricultural Total Factor Productivity Growth Incorporating Environmental Factors- A Nutrients Balance Approach," CEPA Working Papers Series WP032009, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  2. Tim Coelli & Ludwig Lauwers & Guido Huylenbroeck, 2007. "Environmental efficiency measurement and the materials balance condition," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 3-12, October.
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