Economics of environmental measures on experimental farm 'De Marke'

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Abstract

Experimental farm 'De Marke' aims at realizing very low mineral surpluses by implementation of a variety of measures that not only lead to low mineral surpluses but also have economic consequences. The aim of this study was to calculate the economic consequences of individual environmental measures using simulation models. The measures were implemented sequentially, starting from a base situation and ending with a situation closely resembling 'De Marke'. The order of implementing the measures that could have a decisive influence on the economic effect, represents declining cost effectiveness. The base situation, which also affects the size of the effects of the individual measures, represents 'De Marke' without strict environmental targets. Most of the measures implemented at 'De Marke' led to a lower income. However, keeping less young stock, more efficient grazing, and crop rotation of maize and grass increased net income, while the nitrogen surplus declined. Growing grass under maize and a better protein feeding strategy were rather cheap. Especially grass under maize substantially reduced the nitrogen surplus (15 kg ha-1). Shortening the grazing period, low-emission housing and home production of concentrate were expensive measures that hardly reduced the nitrogen surplus. Reducing nitrogen fertilization and growing and feeding maize drastically reduced net income but also substantially reduced nitrogen surplus. These measures were effective. All measures combined led to a (calculated) reduction in net income for 'De Marke' of about Dfl. 37,500a or almost Dfl. 6 per 100 kg milk. Farmers' income decreased with more than Dfl. 5 per 100 kg milk. The results of this study, which are valid for 'De Marke', also hold for farms under the same conditions at the end of the 1990s.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-194
JournalNJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
Volume49
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2001

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