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Evidence of slowing yield growth - The example of Swiss cereal yields

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  • Finger, Robert

Abstract

We analyze trends in crop yields and yield variability of barley, maize, oats, rye, triticale and wheat in Switzerland from 1961 to 2006. It shows that there have been linear increases in crop yields since the 1960s. However, yields of barley, oats, rye, triticale and wheat have leveled off in Switzerland since the early 1990s, which contrasts linear trends in cereal yields that is usually assumed for Europe. We show a relationship between the introduction of agricultural policy measures towards environmentally friendly cereal production that fostered widespread adoption of extensive farming practices and the observed leveling-off of crop yields. Thus, this paper emphasizes that agricultural policy can be an important reason for slowing crop yield growth. Agricultural policy measures will be one of the key driving forces of future crop yields. Thus, the potential leveling-off of crop yields that is indicated in this study should be considered in analyses of future land use and food supply as well as in the evaluation of agri-environmental measures and policy reforms.

Suggested Citation

  • Finger, Robert, 2010. "Evidence of slowing yield growth - The example of Swiss cereal yields," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 175-182, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:35:y:2010:i:2:p:175-182
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert Finger & Stéphanie Schmid, 2008. "Modeling agricultural production risk and the adaptation to climate change," Agricultural Finance Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 68(1), pages 25-41, May.
    2. Jan-Egbert Sturm & Jakob De Haan, 2001. "How robust is the relationship between economic freedom and economic growth?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(7), pages 839-844.
    3. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    4. Erwin Schmid & Franz Sinabell, 2004. "On the Choice of Farm Management Practices after the Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy in 2003," WIFO Working Papers 233, WIFO.
    5. Choi, Jung-Sup & Helmberger, Peter G., 1993. "How Sensitive Are Crop Yields To Price Changes And Farm Programs?," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 25(01), July.
    6. Jette Krause, 2008. "A Bayesian approach to German agricultural yield expectations," Agricultural Finance Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 68(1), pages 9-23, May.
    7. Robert Finger, 2008. "Impacts of Agricultural Policy Reforms on Crop Yields," EuroChoices, The Agricultural Economics Society, vol. 7(3), pages 24-25, December.
    8. Choi, Jung-Sup & Helmberger, Peter G., 1993. "How Sensitive are Crop Yields to Price Changes and Farm Programs?," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(01), pages 237-244, July.
    9. Ika Darnhofer & Walter Schneeberger, 2007. "Impacts of voluntary agri-environmental measures on Austria's agriculture," International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 6(3), pages 360-377.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bardsley, Douglas K. & Bardsley, Annette M., 2014. "Organising for socio-ecological resilience: The roles of the mountain farmer cooperative Genossenschaft Gran Alpin in Graubünden, Switzerland," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 11-21.
    2. Finger, Robert, 2012. "Biases in Farm-Level Yield Risk Analysis due to Data Aggregation," Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, vol. 61(1).
    3. repec:eee:agisys:v:157:y:2017:i:c:p:81-92 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Robert Finger & Nadja El Benni & Timo Kaphengst & Clive Evans & Sophie Herbert & Bernard Lehmann & Stephen Morse & Nataliya Stupak, 2011. "A Meta Analysis on Farm-Level Costs and Benefits of GM Crops," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(5), pages 1-20, May.
    5. Lehmann, Niklaus & Finger, Robert & Klein, Tommy & Calanca, Pierluigi & Walter, Achim, 2012. "Adapting Towards Climate Change: A Bioeconomic Analysis of Winterwheat and Grain Maize," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126483, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. El Benni, Nadja & Finger, Robert & Mann, Stefan, 2012. "The effect of agricultural policy change on income risk in Swiss agriculture," 123rd Seminar, February 23-24, 2012, Dublin, Ireland 122532, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. El Benni, Nadja & Finger, Robert, 2014. "Where is the risk? Price, yield and cost risk in Swiss crop production," Revue d'Etudes en Agriculture et Environnement, Editions NecPlus, vol. 95(03), pages 299-326, September.
    8. Conradt, Sarah & Bokusheva, Raushan & Finger, Robert & Kussaiynov, Talgat, 0. "Yield Trend Estimation in the Presence of Farm Heterogeneity and Non-linear Technological Change," Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, vol. 53.
    9. Robert Finger, 2008. "Impacts of Agricultural Policy Reforms on Crop Yields," EuroChoices, The Agricultural Economics Society, vol. 7(3), pages 24-25, December.
    10. Niklaus Lehmann, 2011. "Regional Crop Modeling: How Future Climate May Impact Crop Yields in Switzerland," Journal of Socio-Economics in Agriculture (Until 2015: Yearbook of Socioeconomics in Agriculture), Swiss Society for Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, vol. 4(1), pages 269-291.
    11. Finger, Robert, 2012. "How strong is the “natural hedge”? The effects of crop acreage and aggregation levels," 123rd Seminar, February 23-24, 2012, Dublin, Ireland 122538, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    12. Conradt, Sarah & Bokusheva, Raushan & Finger, Robert & Kussaiynov, Talgat, 2012. "Yield trend estimation in the presence of non-constant technological change and weather effects," 123rd Seminar, February 23-24, 2012, Dublin, Ireland 122541, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    13. repec:eee:agisys:v:162:y:2018:i:c:p:10-18 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agri-environmental policy Cereals Crop yield development Crop yield variability Detrending Robust regression Switzerland;

    JEL classification:

    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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