Langer, Vibeke (2002) Changes in farm structure following conversion to organic farming in Denmark. American Journal of Alternative Agriculture, 17 (2), pp. 75-81.
Compared with conventional farms, organic farms are expected to be more diverse, less specialized and less intensive, and organic farms as a group are expected to contribute to a more uniform regional distribution of farm types. Data on farm size, crop distribution and livestock intensity prior to conversion and planned after conversion on 448 Danish farms, which began conversion to organic farming in 1997, are presented in adressing two questions: 1) what features characterize Danish farms that convert from conventional to organic farming ?, 2) what do the farms convert to: do farm types, stocking rates and crop distribution change with conversion ? In 1997, dairy farms dominated among the converting farms in acreage, and a large majority (80-97%) of the farmers of all farm types planned to continue with the same type of production system after conversion as they had before. Thus, the regional pattern in organic farm types will be similar to that which characterize conventional farms. Although the total number of livestock units on the 448 converting farms is planned to increase by 6% following conversion to organic farming, the converting farms are well below-average in stocking rates compared with all Danish farms both before and after conversion. Farmers plan changes in crop distribution when converting: a 20% decrease in the acreage for cereal production, a doubling of the acreage for grassland in rotation, a decrease in acreages for setaside, row crops and oilseed rape, with roughage and seeds unchanged. Planned changes in crop distribution differ between farm types. The need for including aspects of diversity and intensity of production on both farm and higher scales in the evaluation of future directions in organic farming is discussed.
|EPrint Type:||Journal paper|
|Keywords:||conversion, intensification, farm structure, stocking rate, crop diversity|
|Subjects:|| Crop husbandry > Production systems|
Animal husbandry > Production systems
|Research affiliation:||Denmark > DARCOF I (1996-2001) > I.8 Social and environmental consequences|
|Deposited By:||Langer, Vibeke|
|Deposited On:||12 Aug 2003|
|Last Modified:||26 Apr 2013 14:20|
|Refereed:||Peer-reviewed and accepted|
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