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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2009

Impacts of Decoupled Agricultural Support on Farm Structure, Biodiversity and Landscape Mosaic: Some EU Results

Brady, Mark; Kellermann, Konrad; Sahrbacher, Christoph; Jelinek, Ladislav


The decoupling of direct payments from production represents a substantial reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Farmers are no longer required to produce commodities to be entitled to support but only to keep land in Good Environmental and Agricultural Condition. If output declines as a result, there is concern that landscape services produced jointly with commodities will also decline. The aim of this paper is to assess the long-term effects of the 2003 reform on farm structure, landscape mosaic and biodiversity for a sample of EU regions. Impacts are quantified using a spatial agent-based modelling approach by simulating agricultural development with links to indicators of landscape value. Our results demonstrate that eliminating the link between support payments and production has possible negative consequences for the landscape, but only under particular circumstances. It is shown that these effects could be offset by strengthening (Pillar II) agri-environmental schemes. Further the single payment scheme results in higher land rental prices which reduces its ability to achieve its goal of providing income security for farmers. Implications of these results for the direction of continued CAP reform are discussed.


Biodiversity; Common Agricultural Policy decoupling; landscape mosaic; modelling; policy; Q18; Q57; Q58; Q24

Published in

Journal of Agricultural Economics
2009, volume: 60, number: 3, pages: 563-585

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics
Kellermann, Konrad
Sahrbacher, Christoph
Jelinek, Ladislav

UKÄ Subject classification

Social Sciences
Agricultural Science
Economics and Business
Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

Publication Identifiers


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