- Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Värdering av ekosystemtjänster inom jordbruket – för effektivt beslutsfattande : slutrapport för forskningsprojekt
Hedlund, Katarina; Brady, Mark; Hansson, Helena I.; Hristov, Jordan; Olsson, Johanna Alkan; Smith, Henrik G.; Wilhelmsson, Fredrik
The aim of the project was to develop tools that can value changes in supporting and regulating ecosystem services related to the management of agricultural land from both the farmers’ and Swedish society’s perspectives. The farmer’s perspective is important because it is their production decisions that regulate the flows of ecosystem services that benefit society. The valuation models (tools) have been adapted to the local (farm), regional (Scania) and national (Sweden) levels to support decisions about the management of agricultural land from the farm to government for the efficient production of ecosystem services. At the local level, we have developed C-bank that can value changes in soil ecosystem services from the farmer’s perspective. C-bank has been developed together with farmers and their advisores. Currently it includes the most economically significant crops grown on the Scanian plains: winter wheat, spring barley, winter oilseed rape and sugar beet. C-bank shows that soil natural capital (soil biodiversity) and the associated production of ecosystem services underpin long-term soil productivity. Declining natural capital will lead to increasing use of environmentally harmful inputs such as fertilizers and lower yields for a given amount of inputs in the future, while increasing natural capital will have the opposite effects. C-bank can value the benefit to the farmer of a higher production of ecosystem services, through the impact on future profits. Overall, C-bank shows that the value of investing in natural capital for the farmer will depend on their attitude to the future: the shorter their time frame, the lower the benefits to them of conserving natural capital. Finally, changes in soil organic carbon content were identified as a good indicator of changes in ecosystem services that could be monitored by farmers. At the regional level, we have integrated soil ecosystem services in the AgriPoliS model (Agricultural Policy Simulator) which is an economic model that represents the structure of agriculture in a particular region and can be used to evaluate the effects of changes in agricultural and environmental policies on farmers’ decisions. AgriPoliS can now simulate the effects of changes in policy and farmers’ management practices on soil ecosystem services and, in turn, optimal yields and fertilizer input rates, as well as environmental impacts in terms of nutrient emissions. For other ecosystem services as pollination and biological control there is ongoing development to be integrated with the economic models in the future. At the national level, we have used cost benefit analysis to value changes in ecosystem services from a society’s perspective. Based on a case study of measures that can be used to conserve natural capital, grass crops in the crop rotation, was simulated in AgriPoliS. The results of the cost-benefit analysis shows, that the economic value of including grasses in crop rotations on highly productive arable land is marginal to the farmer but incentives are needed to reach an optimal level of services for society for r reducing agriculture’s negative environmental impacts. Extending the analysis to include more measures or financial returns for grass biomass could contribute to the identification of economically efficient measures to conserve soil natural capital. This can provide a basis for the development of environmental policy instruments currently regulated under the EU’s Rural Development Program.
Rapport / Naturvårdsverket
2017, number: 6753
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