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March M.D.,Future Farming Systems Group | Toma L.,Land economics and Environment Group | Stott A.W.,Future Farming Systems Group | Roberts D.J.,Future Farming Systems Group
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2016

Increased demand for protein rich nutrition and a limited land capacity combine to create a food supply issue which imposes greater dependence on phosphorus, required for yield maximization in crops for humans, and for animal feeds. To determine the technical and environmental efficiency of diverse milk production systems, this work evaluates the use of phosphorus (P), within confined, conventional grazing, and innovative dairy management regimes across two genetic merits of Holstein Friesian cows, by calculating annual farm gate P budgets and applying a series of common and novel data envelopment analysis (DEA) models. Efficiency results provide an insight into P effective dairy management systems as the DEA models consider P as an environmental pollutant as well as a non-renewable resource. We observe that dairy system efficiency differs, and can depend upon, model emphasis, whether it is the potential for losses to the environment, or the finite nature of P. DEA scores generated by pollutant focused models were wider ranging and, on average, higher for genetically improved animals within housed systems, consuming imported by-product feeds and exporting all manure. However, DEA models which considered P as a non-renewable resource presented a tighter range of efficiency scores across all management regimes and did not always favour cows of improved genetics. Divergent results arising from type of model applied generate questions concerning the importance of model emphasis and offer insight into the sustainability of P use within varied dairy systems. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Toma L.,Land economics and Environment Group | Stott A.W.,Future Farming Systems Group | Heffernan C.,University of Reading | Ringrose S.,Land economics and Environment Group | Gunn G.J.,Future Farming Systems Group
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2013

The paper analyses the impact of a priori determinants of biosecurity behaviour of farmers in Great Britain. We use a dataset collected through a stratified telephone survey of 900 cattle and sheep farmers in Great Britain (400 in England and a further 250 in Wales and Scotland respectively) which took place between 25 March 2010 and 18 June 2010. The survey was stratified by farm type, farm size and region.To test the influence of a priori determinants on biosecurity behaviour we used a behavioural economics method, structural equation modelling (SEM) with observed and latent variables. SEM is a statistical technique for testing and estimating causal relationships amongst variables, some of which may be latent using a combination of statistical data and qualitative causal assumptions.Thirteen latent variables were identified and extracted, expressing the behaviour and the underlying determining factors. The variables were: experience, economic factors, organic certification of farm, membership in a cattle/sheep health scheme, perceived usefulness of biosecurity information sources, knowledge about biosecurity measures, perceived importance of specific biosecurity strategies, perceived effect (on farm business in the past five years) of welfare/health regulation, perceived effect of severe outbreaks of animal diseases, attitudes towards livestock biosecurity, attitudes towards animal welfare, influence on decision to apply biosecurity measures and biosecurity behaviour.The SEM model applied on the Great Britain sample has an adequate fit according to the measures of absolute, incremental and parsimonious fit. The results suggest that farmers' perceived importance of specific biosecurity strategies, organic certification of farm, knowledge about biosecurity measures, attitudes towards animal welfare, perceived usefulness of biosecurity information sources, perceived effect on business during the past five years of severe outbreaks of animal diseases, membership in a cattle/sheep health scheme, attitudes towards livestock biosecurity, influence on decision to apply biosecurity measures, experience and economic factors are significantly influencing behaviour (overall explaining 64% of the variance in behaviour).Three other models were run for the individual regions (England, Scotland and Wales). A smaller number of variables were included in each model to account for the smaller sample sizes. Results show lower but still high levels of variance explained for the individual models (about 40% for each country). The individual models' results are consistent with those of the total sample model. The results might suggest that ways to achieve behavioural change could include ensuring increased access of farmers to biosecurity information and advice sources. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Rocamora-Montiel B.,Agroecosost Group | Glenk K.,Land economics and Environment Group | Colombo S.,Agroecosost Group
Land Use Policy | Year: 2014

The continuity of farming in traditional sloping and mountainous olive production systems (SMOPS) is at risk, especially in marginally productive areas. The abandonment of olive production on sloping lands would have adverse economic, social, environmental and cultural effects. To tackle this risk of abandonment and to improve the sustainability of traditional SMOPS, we propose the Territorial management contracts (TMC) of rural areas. The potential of this instrument to be specifically applied to organic olive production systems on sloping lands is assessed. The paper then summarises the results of a survey of Andalusian farmers in sloping and mountainous areas aimed at identifying key characteristics of the TMC with the potential to enhance its uptake in target farming communities. Results show that farmers are well-disposed towards TMC, and that issues such as flexibility and external advice need to be considered for its successful implementation. From a policy perspective, the instrument is well aligned with the objectives of the last reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Vinten A.J.A.,James Hutton Institute | Martin-Ortega J.,James Hutton Institute | Glenk K.,Land economics and Environment Group | Booth P.,James Hutton Institute | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Management | Year: 2012

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) aims to deliver good ecological status (GES) for Europe's waters. It prescribes the use of economic principles, such as derogation from GES on grounds of disproportionate costs of mitigation. This paper proposes an application of the proportionality principle to mitigation of phosphorus (P) pollution of 544 Scottish lochs at national and local water body scales. P loading estimates were derived from a national diffuse pollution screening tool. For 293 of these lochs (31% of the loch area), GES already occurred. Mitigation cost-effectiveness was assessed using combined mitigation cost curves for managed grassland, rough grazing, arable land, sewage and septic tank sources. These provided sufficient mitigation (92% of national P load) for GES to be achieved on another 31% of loch area at annualised cost of £2.09. m/y. Mitigation of the residual P loading preventing other lochs achieving GES was considered by using a " mop-up" cost of £200/kg P (assumed cost effectiveness of removal of P directly from lochs), leading to a total cost of £189. m/y. Lochs were ranked by mitigation costs per loch area to give a national scale marginal mitigation cost curve. A published choice experiment valuation of WFD targets for Scottish lochs was used to estimate marginal benefits at national scale and combined with the marginal cost curve. This gave proportionate costs of £5.7. m/y leading to GES in 72% of loch area. Using national mean marginal benefits with a scheme to estimate changes in individual loch value with P loading gave proportionate costs of £25.6. m/y leading to GES in 77% of loch area (491 lochs). © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Barnes A.P.,Land economics and Environment Group | Rutherford K.M.D.,Scottish Agricultural College | Langford F.M.,Scottish Agricultural College | Haskell M.J.,Scottish Agricultural College
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2011

A key indicator of resource use within farming is technical efficiency, which measures the amount of physical output attainable from a given set of inputs. The social aspects, in particular the treatment of animals, have generally been ignored within these measurement schemas. In addition, animal welfare will affect the production technology under which farms operate, and some allowance for this is needed within the measurement approach. This is the first paper to apply animal welfare as a discriminating technology within a technical efficiency framework. Using results from an animal welfare monitoring study coupled with resource usage data, it presents an adjusted measure of technical efficiency applied to a sample of British dairy farms and compares differences in lameness management strategies for herds. We employ both a categorical and nondiscretionary variant of the data envelopment analysis approach to measure technical efficiencies and adjust for various degrees of lameness prevalence among these farms. This paper finds that farms with low rates of lameness (below 10% of the cattle herd) tend to have significantly higher technical efficiencies than those with lameness rates of above 10% of the herd. Farms that have levels of lameness of between 10 to 20% of the herd and higher levels of lameness (above 20% of the herd) did not differ significantly. Furthermore, low lameness farms are inefficient in terms of labor and stocking density, but this is outweighed by the gain in milk yield obtained on these farms. Consequently, we argue for a whole-farm, rather than a partial indicator, approach to assessing efficiency when noneconomic factors such as lameness are accounted for. From a policy perspective, we support programs that encourage active lameness management. © 2011 American Dairy Science Association.


Fischer A.,Macaulay Institute | Glenk K.,Macaulay Institute | Glenk K.,Land economics and Environment Group
Ecological Economics | Year: 2011

Environmental economic and psychological studies often implicitly assume homogeneity of respondents' decision strategies in questionnaire-based surveys. However, social psychology and behavioural research suggest that there is a wide variety of approaches that individuals use to make such choices. We explore this heterogeneity against the backdrop of so-called 'dual process models', analysing participants' responses in a survey of public beliefs about and preferences for climate change adaptation policies. We find that the postulate of two different types of decision-making, the systematic-analytical and the heuristic-holistic, does indeed help us to understand patterns in respondent behaviour that are, in turn, underpinned by respondents' motivation and ability to process information. Participants who were motivated and able to process the information provided were more likely to express preferences in line with their beliefs about adaptation policies, whereas those less motivated and more confused were more likely to use generalised rules-of-thumb that were not specific to the policy issue at hand. Depending on the theoretical framework of a study, such heterogeneity in response consistency and use of generic rules-of-thumb might have implications for the usefulness of survey outcomes. We discuss the implications of our findings, and draw conclusions for survey-based environmental research. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Wreford A.,Land economics and Environment Group | Renwick A.,Land economics and Environment Group
CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources | Year: 2012

With the increasing recognition of the importance of adaptation in addressing climate change, an understanding of the costs and benefits of potential adaptations is necessary. To date, few detailed studies provide comprehensive economic estimates of adaptation, given the uncertainties and complexities involved. Those that consider adaptation can be loosely grouped into top-down global estimates and bottom-up estimates. The different approaches provide estimates that are useful for different purposes. In this paper, we introduce the concept of adaptation and the role it can play in reducing climate change damage, before reviewing the available literature on both approaches in the agricultural sector and highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of both. We then discuss possible reasons for the dearth of estimates and suggest ways forward. © CAB International 2012.


Glenk K.,Land economics and Environment Group | Colombo S.,Centro Camino Of Purchil
Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics | Year: 2013

In this study, we introduce information on outcome-related risk as an additional attribute in a choice model of preferences for a land-based climate change mitigation project. We provide a comprehensive comparison of different model specifications arising from different behavioural assumptions about the way that respondents process information on outcome-related risk within the choice task. We find significant differences between several specifications in terms of both model fit and WTP estimates. The behavioural assumptions made when choosing a particular model specification, and reasons that motivate them should be made explicit, and consequences of using different specifications should not be ignored. © 2013 Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society Inc. and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.


Montiel B.R.,IFAPA Centro del Llano | Colombo S.,IFAPA Centro del Llano | Glenk K.,Land economics and Environment Group
Economia Agraria y Recursos Naturales | Year: 2014

Choice experiments have become an important tool to provide guidance about the value of environmental goods and services. Several evidences, however, are pointing toward an important mismatch between the rationality principles assumed by this methodology and real respondents' behaviour, what may be giving rise to inconsistent choices. This paper studies the effects of such inconsistencies by using data from an online survey aimed at valuing the environmental impacts of organic farming in mountainous olive groves. The results are analysed by means of three random parameter models and provide evidence on the necessity to appropriately consider and treat choice inconsistencies as a result of their influence on welfare estimates.


PubMed | Land economics and Environment Group
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of dairy science | Year: 2011

A key indicator of resource use within farming is technical efficiency, which measures the amount of physical output attainable from a given set of inputs. The social aspects, in particular the treatment of animals, have generally been ignored within these measurement schemas. In addition, animal welfare will affect the production technology under which farms operate, and some allowance for this is needed within the measurement approach. This is the first paper to apply animal welfare as a discriminating technology within a technical efficiency framework. Using results from an animal welfare monitoring study coupled with resource usage data, it presents an adjusted measure of technical efficiency applied to a sample of British dairy farms and compares differences in lameness management strategies for herds. We employ both a categorical and nondiscretionary variant of the data envelopment analysis approach to measure technical efficiencies and adjust for various degrees of lameness prevalence among these farms. This paper finds that farms with low rates of lameness (below 10% of the cattle herd) tend to have significantly higher technical efficiencies than those with lameness rates of above 10% of the herd. Farms that have levels of lameness of between 10 to 20% of the herd and higher levels of lameness (above 20% of the herd) did not differ significantly. Furthermore, low lameness farms are inefficient in terms of labor and stocking density, but this is outweighed by the gain in milk yield obtained on these farms. Consequently, we argue for a whole-farm, rather than a partial indicator, approach to assessing efficiency when noneconomic factors such as lameness are accounted for. From a policy perspective, we support programs that encourage active lameness management.

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