Integration of bio-physical and economic models to analyze management intensity and landscape structure effects at farm and landscape level
We present an integrated spatially explicit land use modeling framework, which integrates two key components of agricultural systems, the bio-physical production system and the management system, by coupling the bio-economic farm optimization model FAMOS[space], the crop rotation model CropRota, and the bio-physical process model EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate). The integrated modeling framework has been developed to analyze the cost-effectiveness of selected agri-environmental program (AEP) measures. We also focus on the landscape development and therefore include a detailed representation of landscape elements such as fields or orchard meadows in our analysis. An indicator set represents all main environmental AEP objectives, i.e. preservation of water and soil resources, mitigation of climate change, protection of biodiversity, maintenance of cultural landscapes as well as farm income support. The integrated modeling framework is applied to 20 farms in the Austrian 'Mostviertel' region, which are selected from the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) of the European Union. The cost-effectiveness of AEP measures is assessed under different premium levels. The implementation of the AEP clearly affects environmental quality in a positive way. Nitrogen rates are reduced, landscape elements can be sustained, and the landscape becomes more diverse. The program also increases farm gross margins on average. However, the cost-effectiveness ratios (CER) are declining with increasing premium levels. The results indicate that the cost-effectiveness of AEP measures can be improved by spatial targeting.
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