Analysing the maintenance and establishment of orchard meadows at farm and landscape levels applying a spatially explicit integrated modelling approach
Landscape elements can enhance the ecological and social value of agricultural landscapes. Orchard meadows are traditional landscape elements in Central Europe, but have deteriorated for decades due to their adverse economic effects. We apply an integrated modelling framework to assess the farm profitability of orchard meadows as well as the effectiveness of measures in the Austrian agri-environmental programme to maintain existing and establish new sites. The model results indicate that current market prices for fruits and harvest productivity levels are not sufficient to support the maintenance of existing sites. The model results also indicate that the agri-environmental measures are effective in maintaining orchard meadows, but are insufficient to make all existing sites profitable or support further establishments. Consequently, alternative policy options will aim at increasing harvest efficiencies (e.g. harvest mechanisation co-operatives), at adding value to orchard fruits (e.g. fruit processing options), and at reducing labour costs by improving seasonal labour availability.
Volume (Year): 54 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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