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Integrated Assessment of the EU’s Greening Reform and Feed Self-Sufficiency Scenarios on Dairy Farms in Piemonte, Italy

Author

Listed:
  • Stefano Gaudino

    () (Department of Agriculture, Forest and Food Sciences, University of Turin, via L. Da Vinci 44, 10095 Grugliasco, Italy)

  • Pytrik Reidsma

    () (Plant Production Systems Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 430, 6700 Wageningen, The Netherlands)

  • Argyris Kanellopoulos

    () (Operations Research and Logistics Group, Wageningen University, Hollandseweg 1, 6708 Wageningen, The Netherlands)

  • Dario Sacco

    () (Department of Agriculture, Forest and Food Sciences, University of Turin, via L. Da Vinci 44, 10095 Grugliasco, Italy)

  • Martin K. Van Ittersum

    () (Plant Production Systems Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 430, 6700 Wageningen, The Netherlands)

Abstract

Specialised dairy farms are challenged to be competitive and yet respect environmental constrains. A tighter integration of cropping and livestock systems, both in terms of feed and manure flows, can be beneficial for the farm economy and the environment. The greening of the direct payments, which was introduced in the European Union’s greening reform in 2013, is assumed to stimulate the transition towards more sustainable systems. The aim of this study was to quantitatively assess the impacts of greening policies on important economic and environmental indicators of sustainability, and explore potential further improvements in policies. The Farm System SIMulator (FSSIM) bioeconomic farm model was used to simulate the consequences of scenarios of policy change on three representative dairy farms in Piedmont, Italy, i.e., an ‘intensive’, an ‘extensive’, and an ‘organic’ dairy farm. Results showed that in general, there is a large potential to increase the current economic performance of all of the farms. The most profitable activity is milk production, resulting in the allocation of all of the available farm land to feed production. Imposing feed self-sufficiency targets results in a larger adaptation of current managerial practice than the adaptations that are required due to the greening policy scenario. It was shown that the cropping system is not always able to sustain the actual herd composition when 90% feed self-sufficiency is imposed. Regarding the greening policies, it is shown that extensive and organic farms already largely comply with the greening constrains, and the extra subsidy is therefore a bonus, while the intensive farm is likely to sacrifice the subsidy, as adapting the farm plan will substantially reduce profit. The introduction of nitrogen (N)-fixing crops in ecological focus areas was the easiest greening strategy to adopt, and led to an increase in the protein feed self-sufficiency. In conclusion, it is important to note that the greening policy in its current form does not lead to reduced environmental impacts. This implies that in order to improve environmental performance, regulations are needed rather than voluntary economic incentives.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefano Gaudino & Pytrik Reidsma & Argyris Kanellopoulos & Dario Sacco & Martin K. Van Ittersum, 2018. "Integrated Assessment of the EU’s Greening Reform and Feed Self-Sufficiency Scenarios on Dairy Farms in Piemonte, Italy," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(9), pages 1-27, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jagris:v:8:y:2018:i:9:p:137-:d:167616
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Klaas Calker & Paul Berentsen & Gerard Giesen & Ruud Huirne, 2005. "Identifying and ranking attributes that determine sustainability in Dutch dairy farming," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 22(1), pages 53-63, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fabio Gaetano Santeramo & Emilia Lamonaca & Marco Tappi & Leonardo Di Gioia, 2019. "Considerations on the Environmental and Social Sustainability of Animal-Based Policies," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(8), pages 1-12, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    bioeconomic modelling; dairy farming; greening policy; feed self-sufficiency; agro-environmental indicators; common agricultural policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • Q14 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Finance
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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