Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 321404
Title Identification of farmer characteristics and farm strategies explaining changes in environmental management and environmental and economic performance of dairy farms
Author(s) Ondersteijn, C.J.M.; Giesen, G.W.J.; Huirne, R.B.M.
Source Agricultural Systems 78 (2003). - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 31 - 55.
Department(s) Business Economics
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2003
Keyword(s) conservation practices - efficiency - diversification - behavior - decision - models - goals
Abstract In 1998, the Mineral Accounting System (MINAS) was introduced in The Netherlands. MINAS penalises farms with a levy if the farm nutrient surpluses exceed a certain threshold. The threshold is strict, meaning that most farmers need to change their environmental management and performance to avoid high levies. Since MINAS is designed to leave ample room for farmers to follow the course of change of their choice, it is crucial to know whether or not different farmers and different farm strategies lead to different environmental results. A strategic management framework is used to model changes in implementation and performance on specialised dairy farms. Financial and nutrient bookkeeping data of 114 farms, collected over the period 1997-1999 are combined with survey data on farmer characteristics and farm strategies. Results of Linear Structural Equation Analysis (LISREL) showed that the main farmer characteristic explaining change in environmental management was education. Better-educated farmers chose to increase the intensity of the farming system, and cope with the corresponding increase in environmental pressure by improving the production capacity of the herd and improving operational management. Farm strategies explain the differences in the changes in nutrient management. A strategy of process control focuses on optimising tactical management, whereas a growth strategy and a diversification strategy are strongly related to changes in farm structure. Changes in technical and environmental performance in addition to changes resulting from implementation changes are positively affected by education, but show no strong relationship with any strategy, indicating that environmental improvements can be achieved regardless of the way a farmer chooses to develop his farm. Finally, an improvement of financial performance was shown to be significantly related to an improvement of environmental performance. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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