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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2013

Land-use change in southern Sweden: Before and after decoupling

Trubins, Renats


Rural land-use in the European Union (EU) is strongly influenced by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) because it directly affects the relative profitability of different land-use options. Since 2000, the CAP has been heavily reformed. In particular, in Sweden, the 2003 CAP reform was followed by substantial shifts in agricultural land allocation. However, this land-use change has barely been studied empirically beyond the net changes of land-use categories. In order to better understand the transformation of the land-use system, all transitions between land-use categories and changes within existing categories need to be considered. This article presents an analysis of agricultural land-use change between 2002 and 2010 in a landscape in southern Sweden. The inter-category land transitions were identified and quantified by using a spatially explicit field-level resolution dataset. The intra-category change of utilization intensity was assessed for grasslands by using standard yields and forage consumption estimates. Substantial shifts in chains of connected inter-category land transitions were found between cereals, temporary grasses, permanent pastures and fallow lands. The grassland utilization analysis showed a growing gap between grassland area and forage consumption. These results indicate concentration of agricultural production to better quality land and a growing number of land-idling farms in the region. The CAP single farm payment scheme is discussed in the light of these findings.


Land-use, Common Agricultural Policy, Sweden

Published in

Land Use Policy
2013, Volume: 33, pages: 161-169

    SLU Authors

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science
    Economic Geography
    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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