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Impacts of Decoupled Agricultural Support on Farm Structure, Biodiversity and Landscape Mosaic: Some EU Results

Listed author(s):
  • Mark Brady
  • Konrad Kellermann
  • Christoph Sahrbacher
  • Ladislav Jelinek

The decoupling of direct payments from production represents a substantial reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Farmers are no longer required to produce commodities to be entitled to support but only to keep land in Good Environmental and Agricultural Condition. If output declines as a result, there is concern that landscape services produced jointly with commodities will also decline. The aim of this paper is to assess the long-term effects of the 2003 reform on farm structure, landscape mosaic and biodiversity for a sample of EU regions. Impacts are quantified using a spatial agent-based modelling approach by simulating agricultural development with links to indicators of landscape value. Our results demonstrate that eliminating the link between support payments and production has possible negative consequences for the landscape, but only under particular circumstances. It is shown that these effects could be offset by strengthening (Pillar II) agri-environmental schemes. Further the single payment scheme results in higher land rental prices which reduces its ability to achieve its goal of providing income security for farmers. Implications of these results for the direction of continued CAP reform are discussed. Copyright (c) 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation (c) 2009 The Agricultural Economics Society.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 60 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 563-585

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jageco:v:60:y:2009:i:3:p:563-585
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