Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Integrating the economic and environmental performance of agricultural systems: a demonstration using Farm Business Survey data and Farmscoper

Lynch, John; Skirvin, David; Wilson, Paul; Ramsden, Stephen

Authors

John Lynch

David Skirvin

PAUL WILSON PAUL.WILSON@NOTTINGHAM.AC.UK
Professor of Agricultural Economics

Stephen Ramsden



Abstract

There is a continued need to monitor the environmental impacts of agricultural systems while also ensuring sufficient agricultural production. However, it can be difficult to collect relevant environmental data on a large enough number of farms and studies that do so often neglect to consider the financial drivers that ultimately determine many aspects of farm management and performance. This paper outlines a methodology for generating environmental indicators from the Farm Business Survey (FBS), an extensive annual economic survey of representative farms in England and Wales. Data were extracted from the FBS for a sample of East Anglian cereal farms and south western dairy farms and converted where necessary to use as inputs in ‘Farmscoper’; farm-level estimates of nitrate, phosphorus and sediment loadings and ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions were generated using the Farmscoper model. Nitrate losses to water, ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions were positively correlated with food energy production per unit area for both farm types; phosphorus loading was also correlated with food energy on the dairy farms. Environmental efficiency indicators, as measured by either total food energy or financial output per unit of negative environmental effect, were calculated; greenhouse gas emission efficiency (using either measure of agricultural output) and nitrate loading efficiency (using financial output) were positively correlated with profitability on cereal farms. No other environmental efficiency measures were significantly associated with farm profitability and none were significant on the dairy farms. These findings suggest that an improvement in economic performance can also improve environmental efficiency, but that this depends on the farm type and negative environmental externality in question. In a wider context, the augmentation of FBS-type data to generate additional environmental indicators can provide useful insights into ongoing research and policy issues around sustainable agricultural production.

Citation

Lynch, J., Skirvin, D., Wilson, P., & Ramsden, S. (in press). Integrating the economic and environmental performance of agricultural systems: a demonstration using Farm Business Survey data and Farmscoper. Science of the Total Environment, 628-629, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.01.256

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 25, 2018
Online Publication Date Feb 20, 2018
Deposit Date Feb 23, 2018
Publicly Available Date Feb 21, 2019
Journal Science of The Total Environment
Print ISSN 0048-9697
Electronic ISSN 1879-1026
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 628-629
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.01.256
Keywords Farm level modelling; Sustainable intensification; Farm Accountancy Data Network; Profitability; Environmental impacts
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/49957
Publisher URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969718302985
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0

Files


Lynch Wilson Skirvin Ramsden Final 24 Jan.pdf (314 Kb)
PDF

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0





You might also like



Downloadable Citations