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The use of Farm Business Survey data to compare the environmental performance of organic and conventional farms

Gerrard, CL; Moakes, Simon and Padel, Susanne (2012) The use of Farm Business Survey data to compare the environmental performance of organic and conventional farms. International Journal of Agricultural Management, 2 (1), pp. 5-16.

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Online at: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/iagrm/ijam/2012/00000002/00000001


This paper considers two main questions: Is it possible to use Farm Business Survey (FBS) data to derive well-established environmental indicators and can these FBS derived indicators also provide a reasonable comparison of the environmental performance of organic and conventional farms? The results suggest that the indicators can be obtained from FBS data and that the majority of the indicators provided meaningful results, despite some data limitations within the FBS dataset. The comparison of organic with conventional FBS data in the UK suggests that organic farms have lower fertiliser and crop protection costs (as would be expected) but that differences in feed costs, stocking density and cropping diversity were dependent upon farm type. This research confirms that FBS data can be used to derive indirect environmental indicators which are able to identify significant differences between farm types and management systems. These indicators are also likely to be applicable at EU level through their use within the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN), which collates farm economic data across the EU. This is of interest to researches and policy-makers who could use FADN data to track some aspects of environmental performance across many countries and track changes over time. These results may also be useful to farm consultants and managers who could potentially use a similar approach in using individual farm financial information to benchmark some aspects of farm environmental performance.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Farm business survey; environmental indicators; organic
Agrovoc keywords:
Subjects: Farming Systems > Farm economics
Research affiliation: UK > Univ. Aberystwyth > Institute for Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS)
UK > Organic Research Centre (ORC) - Elm Farm
FP7 Grant Agreement Number:212292
Deposited By: Gerrard, Dr Catherine L
ID Code:22038
Deposited On:17 Dec 2012 10:38
Last Modified:17 Dec 2012 10:38
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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