Modelling farming system dynamics in High Nature Value Farmlandunder policy change

Ribeiro, P.F and Santos, J.L. and Bugalho, M.N (2014) Modelling farming system dynamics in High Nature Value Farmlandunder policy change. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 183. pp. 138-144.

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Understanding the factors driving changes in farm management is needed for designing policies andsubsidy schemes to protect High Nature Value Farmland (HNVF). We describe farming system dynamicsin HNVF of southern Portugal, between 2000–2002 and 2008–2010, encompassing a period of major pol-icy transformations introduced by the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the EuropeanUnion in 2003. We also assess how farming system dynamics was modulated by structural, biophysicaland policy factors constraining agricultural options. Farming systems changed in about 40% of the farmedarea during the period of study. Overall, there was a marked transition from arable systems to either spe-cialized livestock or permanent crop systems, involving major declines in the traditional system of drycereal rotations and sheep grazing. Transitions were influenced by farm size, soil quality and coverageby open oak woodlands, while there was little effect of agri-environment schemes and legal regulationsspecifically targeted to support the traditional farming system. Despite these changes, agricultural inten-sity remained essentially stable, though there was a marked decline in land-use heterogeneity with likelynegative impacts on biodiversity. Observed changes agree with ex-ante impact assessments of the CAPreform in Iberian cereal steppes, which suggested that decoupling of payments from production couldpromote shifts from the traditional cereal–fallow–sheep system towards specialized livestock grazingsystems. Effectively protecting HNFV may thus require a better integration of horizontal policies andagri-environment schemes

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Agri-environment schemesBiodiversity conservationCAP reformFarming systemsHigh Nature Value Farmlanda
Author Affiliation: CEF – Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal
Subjects: Plant Production
Agricultural Engineering
Environmental Science
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr Daneti Raju
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2013 08:30
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2013 08:30
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