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Kaufmann P.,University of Sussex | Zemeckis R.,Lithuanian Institute of Agrarian Economics | Skulskis V.,Lithuanian Institute of Agrarian Economics | Kairyte E.,Lithuanian Institute of Agrarian Economics | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Sustainable Agriculture | Year: 2011

The institutions governing organic farming in Lithuania constitute an unusual mix: relatively low information and support services are coupled with a high level of subsidy and low market prospects in the short to medium term. While the literature emphasizes a complex set of reasons for conversion consisting of personal (financial, health, environmental and other concerns), farm-related, and sometimes institutional factors, the hypothesis for Lithuania is that financial support is the dominant reason for increasing diffusion, not least because adoption numbers match the development of subsidy levels fairly well. To investigate this, and to understand why the majority of farmers still do not convert in face of relatively high financial support, a survey with organic and conventional farmers was conducted during spring and early summer 2005. The results suggest that the main motivations for future in-conversions are primarily connected with economic and farm management reasons. These depend primarily on the farm type; whether farmers believe that it is possible to manage an organic farm effectively; the subsidy, and related to this, the farmers' expectations of effects on land and land-rent prices. The survey points also to substantial farm-support deficits, with a low uptake of extension services in general and low availability of organic farming specific advisory services. By concluding, we recommend to rebalance direct subsidy levels with investments into support infrastructure and market development to increase the effectiveness of the whole organic farming 'system,' Finally, we critically discuss effects of land capitalisation of relatively high direct organic subsidies, which might have distorting effects if they are not linked to production levels. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Mitter H.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Schmid E.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Sinabell F.,WIFO Austrian Institute of Economic Research
Climate Research | Year: 2015

Climate and policy changes are likely to affect protein crop production and thus trade balances in Europe, which is highly dependent on imports. Exemplified for Austrian cropland, we developed an integrated modelling framework to analyze climate change and policy scenario impacts on protein crop production and environmental outcomes. The integrated modelling framework consists of a statistical climate change model, a crop rotation model, the biophysical process model EPIC, and the economic bottom-up land use optimization model BiomAT. EPIC is applied to simulate annual dry matter crop yields for different crop management practices including crop rotations, fertilization intensities, and irrigation, as well as for 3 regional climate change scenarios until 2040 at a 1 km grid resolution. BiomAT maximizes total gross margins by optimizing land use choices and crop management practices subject to spatially explicit cropland endowments. The model results indicate that changes in agricultural policy conditions, cropland use, and higher flexibility in crop management practices may reduce protein import dependence under changing climatic conditions. Expanding protein crop production is most attractive in south-eastern Austria with its Central European continental climate where maize is most often replaced in crop rotations. However, the acreage of protein crops is limited by agronomically suitable cropland. An intended side effect is the reduction of nitrogen fertilizer inputs by about 0.1% if total protein crop production increases by 1%. © Inter-Research 2015.

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