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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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