Farmer perspectives and practices regarding water pollution control programmes in Scotland
Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZ) were introduced in response to the Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) which states that all EU countries must reduce the nitrate in drinking water to a maximum of 50mg/l. Farmers within a designated NVZ must adhere to strict rules over the timing and application of nitrogen from organic and inorganic sources. In Scotland, four NVZ regions were designated in 2003, covering around 14% of the land area and affecting over 12,000 farmers. This paper outlines the results of a recent study to understand farmer activities in response to and attitudes towards NVZ regulations in Scotland. A telephone survey was administered, obtaining a response of 184 farmers, supplemented by four workshops held in each NVZ region. This explored, both quantitatively and qualitatively, farmer behaviour and attitudes. The bulk of farmers have made little capital investment since the 2003 designation. Few farmers have invested in increased slurry storage facilities, nor begun to transport more slurry off-farm, claiming to have had enough storage capacity before designation to cover the imposed closed period. Farmer attitudes indicate a mostly negative view towards the perceived environmental benefits, water management and compliance. This can be explained by a number of concerns raised by farmers towards the scientific basis for designations. Furthermore, farmers viewed the restrictions placed on farming practices within NVZs as too inflexible. Given the mostly sceptical perceptions demonstrated by the farmers we call for a more integrated approach to water management at the catchment level. There is a role for policy-makers to provide clearer information over the science and purpose of the designations and also to invest in the transfer of technologies, in particular N-use software which is specifically tailored to NVZ regulations. Also, critical to this would be the development of transparent indicators of water quality. This may start to embed nitrogen pollution impacts within the farmer's cultural framework of decision-making.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Geoff A Wilson & Kaley Hart, 2000. "Financial imperative or conservation concern? EU farmers' motivations for participation in voluntary agri-environmental schemes," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 32(12), pages 2161-2185, December.
- Rehman, T. & McKemey, K. & Yates, C.M. & Cooke, R.J. & Garforth, C.J. & Tranter, R.B. & Park, J.R. & Dorward, P.T., 2007. "Identifying and understanding factors influencing the uptake of new technologies on dairy farms in SW England using the theory of reasoned action," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 281-293, May.
- Segerson, Kathleen & Miceli, Thomas J., 1998. "Voluntary Environmental Agreements: Good or Bad News for Environmental Protection?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 109-130, September.
- Popp, Jennie S. Hughes & Rodriguez, German, 2007. "The Role of Stakeholders' Perceptions in Addressing Water Quality Disputes in an Embattled Watershed," 2007 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2007, Mobile, Alabama 34808, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
- John W. Cary & Roger L. Wilkinson, 1997. "Perceived Profitability And Farmers' Conservation Behaviour," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1-3), pages 13-21.
- Mathijs, Erik, 2002. "Social Capital and Farmers' Willingness to Adopt Countryside Stewardship Schemes," 13th Congress, Wageningen, The Netherlands, July 7-12, 2002 6981, International Farm Management Association.
- David Colman, 1994. "Ethics And Externalities: Agricultural Stewardship And Other Behaviour: Presidential Address," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 299-311.
- Joyce Willock & Ian J. Deary & Gareth Edwards-Jones & Gavin J. Gibson & Murray J. McGregor & Alistair Sutherland & J. Barry Dent & Oliver Morgan & Robert Grieve, 1999. "The Role of Attitudes and Objectives in Farmer Decision Making: Business and Environmentally-Oriented Behaviour in Scotland," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 286-303.
- M. Shucksmith, 1993. "Farm Household Behaviour And The Transition To Post-Productivism," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 466-478.
- Michael E. Porter & Claas van der Linde, 1995. "Toward a New Conception of the Environment-Competitiveness Relationship," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 97-118, Fall.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:agiwat:v:96:y:2009:i:12:p:1715-1722. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.