Agron. Sustain. Dev.
Volume 27, Number 4, November-December 2007
Page(s) 399 - 406
Published online 18 December 2007
Agron. Sustain. Dev. 27 (2007) 399-406
DOI: 10.1051/agro:2007038

A survey of on-farm acceptance of low-input measures in intensive agriculture

Juliane Mante and Bärbel Gerowitt

University of Rostock, Institute for Land Use, Satower Str. 48, 18051 Rostock, Germany

(Accepted 16 August 2007; published online 18 December 2007)

Abstract - Low-input measures is used as a generic term for all measures involving a reduced intensity of agricultural management to enhance the quality of biotic or abiotic goods. Intensive agricultural regions have the lowest share of implemented low-input measures, though they have to resolve the most serious nature conservation and environmental problems. To understand the conditions for a better implementation of these measures in intensive agricultural areas, we carried out a written survey among 865 farmers in intensively-used arable regions. The adoption patterns of arable and grassland measures were compared. The determining factors were analysed by logistic regression. Arable measures, such as mulch seeding, that claim a high share of the arable area often have comparatively slight restrictions and cause windfall gains. However, our results show that their adoption increases the ratio of probability of a subsequent implementation of low-input measures on grasslands by 0.05. This means that these arable measures can act as starting measures for probably more valuable low-input measures on grasslands. Furthermore, the relation of the farmers with their subsidising institution proved to have an influence in our analysis. With every next best rating the farmers give for their relation with their subsidising institution, the ratio of probability for the adoption of low-input measures on arable land rises by 0.3. We also detected a strong positive influence of defined contact persons within the subsidising institution on the probability of adopting grassland measures, with a ratio of probability of 4.802. These findings show that the subsidising institution has in many respects a central influence on the decision process of the farmer to adopt low-input measures. The described determinants reveal new insights usable for improving the off-farm conditions of an increased implementation of low-input measures in intensively-used arable regions.

Key words: intensively-used arable regions / agri-environmental measures / low-input farming / determining factors / Germany

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© INRA, EDP Sciences 2007