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Modeling Cumulative Effects of Nutrient Surpluses in Agriculture: A Dynamic Approach to Material Balance Accounting


  • Kuosmanen, Natalia
  • Kuosmanen, Timo


Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus have a dual role as inputs to crop production and as pollutants to water, air, and soil. The nutrient surplus measures are frequently used as indicators of environmental performance or eco-efficiency at micro level of individual farms and at macro levels of regions and countries. However, the static material balance accounting ignores an important dimension of the nutrient cycle: the time. Nutrients accumulate in soil, causing delayed effects and persistent harm to the environment. In this paper we propose a dynamic model of material balance, following the standard model of capital accumulation used in production economics. Using data of agricultural production in Finland in the years 1961–2009, we show that it is possible to estimate the stocks of nitrogen and phosphorus accumulated in the soil using information and data that are readily available. The dynamic model allows us to estimate not only the stocks of nutrients, but also the outflow of nutrients to water and air. Better understanding of flows and stocks of nutrients can provide insights to support managerial and policy decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Kuosmanen, Natalia & Kuosmanen, Timo, 2013. "Modeling Cumulative Effects of Nutrient Surpluses in Agriculture: A Dynamic Approach to Material Balance Accounting," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 159-167.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:90:y:2013:i:c:p:159-167
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2013.03.016

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:annopr:v:255:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10479-015-1970-x is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Stefan Borsky & Alexej Parchomenko, 2017. "Identifying Phosphorus Hot Spots: A spatial analysis of the phosphorus balance as a result of manure application," Graz Economics Papers 2017-04, University of Graz, Department of Economics.
    3. Kuosmanen, Natalia, 2014. "Estimating stocks and flows of nitrogen: Application of dynamic nutrient balance to European agriculture," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 68-78.
    4. Annageldy Arazmuradov, 2016. "Economic prospect on carbon emissions in Commonwealth of Independent States," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 49(4), pages 395-427, November.
    5. Alfons Oude Lansink & Alan Wall, 2014. "Frontier models for evaluating environmental efficiency: an overview," Economics and Business Letters, Oviedo University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 43-50.
    6. K Hervé Dakpo & Philippe Jeanneaux & Laure Latruffe, 2014. "Inclusion of undesirable outputs in production technology modeling:The case of greenhouse gas emissions in French meat sheep farming," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 14-08, INRA UMR SMART-LERECO.


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