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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.

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Happe, K. & Hutchings, N.J. & Dalgaard, T. & Kellerman, K., 2011. "Modelling the interactions between regional farming structure, nitrogen losses and environmental regulation," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 281-291, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:104:y:2011:i:3:p:281-291
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:jas:jasssj:2016-163-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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.
    3. Djanibekov, Utkur & Finger, Robert, 2015. "The effects of variability under farm land consolidation process: A perspective of cotton-growing farmers in Uzbekistan," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211829, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. repec:eee:ejores:v:269:y:2018:i:3:p:794-805 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:agisys:v:154:y:2017:i:c:p:34-44 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Malawska, Anna & Topping, Christopher John, 2016. "Evaluating the role of behavioral factors and practical constraints in the performance of an agent-based model of farmer decision making," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 136-146.
    7. 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.
    8. Zheng, Yanan & Goddard, Ellen W. & Qiu, Feng, 2018. "Exploring the Effect of Disease Outbreaks on Farm Structure Change: A Dynamic Analysis for Canadian Pig Industry," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 273801, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. repec:eee:agisys:v:164:y:2018:i:c:p:95-106 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Letort, Elodie & Dupraz, Pierre & Piet, Laurent, 2017. "The impact of environmental regulations on the farmland market and farm structures: An agent-based model applied to the Brittany region of France," Working Papers 253784, Institut National de la recherche Agronomique (INRA), Departement Sciences Sociales, Agriculture et Alimentation, Espace et Environnement (SAE2).
    11. repec:eee:agisys:v:159:y:2018:i:c:p:111-125 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:eee:agisys:v:164:y:2018:i:c:p:223-235 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Soraya Tanure & Carlos Nabinger & João Luiz Becker, 2015. "Bioeconomic Model of Decision Support System for Farm Management: Proposal of a Mathematical Model," Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(6), pages 658-671, November.
    14. Dimitris Kremmydas, 2012. "Agent based modeling for agricultural policy evaluation: A review," Working Papers 2012-3, Agricultural University of Athens, Department Of Agricultural Economics.
    15. 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.

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