Browsing by Author "Bäckman, Stefan"

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  • Bäckman, Stefan (2008)
    The purpose of this study was to evaluate intensity, productivity and efficiency in agriculture in Finland and show implications for N and P fertiliser management. Environmental concerns relating to agricultural production have been and still are focused on arguments about policies that affect agriculture. These policies constrain production while demand for agricultural products such as food, fibre and energy continuously increase. Therefore the importance of increasing productivity is a great challenge to agriculture. Over the last decades producers have experienced several large changes in the production environment such as the policy reform when Finland joined the EU 1995. Other and market changes occurred with the further EU enlargement with neighbouring countries in 2005 and with the decoupling of supports over the 2006-2007 period. Decreasing prices a decreased number of farmers and decreased profitability in agricultural production have resulted from these changes and constraints and of technological development. It is known that the accession to the EU 1995 would herald changes in agriculture. Especially of interest was how the sudden changes in prices of commodities on especially those of cereals, decreased by 60%, would influence agricultural production. The knowledge of properties of the production function increased in importance as a consequence of price changes. A research on the economic instruments to regulate productions was carried out and combined with earlier studies in paper V. In paper I the objective was to compare two different technologies, the conventional farming and the organic farming, determine differences in productivity and technical efficiency. In addition input specific or environmental efficiencies were analysed. The heterogeneity of agricultural soils and its implications were analysed in article II. In study III the determinants of technical inefficiency were analysed. The aspects and possible effects of the instability in policies due to a partial decoupling of production factors and products were studied in paper IV. Consequently connection between technical efficiency based on the turnover and the sales return was analysed in this study. Simple economic instruments such as fertiliser taxes have a direct effect on fertiliser consumption and indirectly increase the value of organic fertilisers. However, fertiliser taxes, do not fully address the N and P management problems adequately and are therefore not suitable for nutrient management improvements in general. Productivity of organic farms is lower on average than conventional farms and the difference increases when looking at selling returns only. The organic sector needs more research and development on productivity. Livestock density in organic farming increases productivity, however, there is an upper limit to livestock densities on organic farms and therefore nutrient on organic farms are also limited. Soil factors affects phosphorous and nitrogen efficiency. Soils like sand and silt have lower input specific overall efficiency for nutrients N and P. Special attention is needed for the management on these soils. Clay soils and soils with moderate clay content have higher efficiency. Soil heterogeneity is cause for an unavoidable inefficiency in agriculture.