Dominos in the dairy: An analysis of transgenic maize in Dutch dairy farming

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EU member states require farmers growing transgenic maize to respect a minimum distance from fields with non-transgenic maize. Previous studies have theoretically argued that such minimum distance requirements may lead to a so-called ‘domino effect’ where farmers who want to grow transgenic maize are forced to grow the non-transgenic variety and in turn impose the same constraints on their neighbors. This article applies a spatially explicit farm model to a dairy region in the Southern Netherlands to assess how farmers growing non-transgenic maize limit other farmers' potential to grow transgenic herbicide-resistant maize. The results indicate that the minimum distance requirements can severely limit the benefits from herbicide resistant maize. Having different land use options in one farm, however, enables dairy farmers to grow transgenic maize despite having one or more neighbors growing non-transgenic maize. We also find that the share of the domino effect in the overall impact of minimum distance requirements decreases with the density of farmers not growing transgenic maize.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-116
JournalEcological Economics
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • genetically-modified crops
  • non-gm crops
  • environmental benefits
  • property-rights
  • coexistence
  • externalities
  • biotechnology
  • patterns
  • adoption
  • impact


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