Grete Stokstad

Senior Adviser

(+47) 902 32 549
grete.stokstad@nibio.no

Place
Ås R9

Visiting address
Raveien 9, 1430 Ås

Abstract

Over the past few decades, there has been increasing interest in recording landscape change. Monitoring programmes have been established to measure the scope, direction and rate of change, and assess the consequences of changes for multiple interests, such as biodiversity, cultural heritage and recreation. The results can provide feedback for multiple sectors and policy domains. Political interests may change over time, but long-term monitoring demands long-term funding. This requires that monitoring programmes remain relevant and cost-efficient. In this paper, we document experiences from 20 years of the Norwegian Monitoring Programme for Agricultural Landscapes—the ‘3Q Programme’. We explain how data availability and demands for information have changed over time, and how the monitoring programme has been adapted to remain relevant. We also discuss how methods of presentation influence the degree of knowledge transfer to stakeholders, in particular to policy makers.

Abstract

The extent of land lease is increasing in many countries, including Norway. This paper develops a von Thünen type model of optimal land plots to lease from a farm’s center. For a single farm setting the optimality principle is that land is leased as long as the expected marginal value of leasing the land is greater than or equal to the expected marginal costs of leasing the land. The single farm model setting captures land lease at the extensive margin, i.e., under absence of competition for leasing land. Land lease at the intensive margin, i.e., when there is competition for leasing farm fields, is more interesting. We distinguish between two cases. In the first case, continued farm operations do not depend on being able to lease more land. Then we show that optimal land lease results when the expected profits for each farm of leasing its least profitable field is equal among farms competing for the same farm field. This also corresponds to an economically efficient allocation of leased land. Our second case at the intensive margin is more complicated. Here, farm survival depends on attracting acreage of leased land to allow for investment in cost saving technology. We show that the resulting allocation of leased land corresponds to the solution of a game involving bidding for land to prevent other farmers from getting land, which in turn leads to farmer exit and therefore increases the future supply of land available at the land lease market. In the first round of the game, winners of the land lease auction pays more for the leased land than they would have done in absence preventive bidding. The model framework is applicable for other settings where locking out competitors are parts of agents’ strategy space. Key words: von Thünen, non-cooperative game theory, auctions with preventive bidding. JEL classification: C72, D44, L13

Abstract

Agricultural landscapes are products of farming activity in the past and present. They are everyday landscapes for many people and are important for outdoor recreation. Many plant and animal species find their habitat in these landscapes, and a high number of cultural heritage sites can also be found there. At the same time, agricultural landscapes are continuously subject to change. To ensure sufficient information on how these landscapes change, a national monitoring programme with the acronym “3Q” was initiated in 1998, to document status, continuity and change in agricultural landscapes in Norway. The Division of Survey and Statistics at NIBIO is responsible for the programme.

Abstract

This report is a means to help establishing a common foundation through providing a brief summary of different themes of importance for scientists involved in the research project “Space, land and society: challenges and opportunities for production and innovation in agriculture based value chains” (AGRISPACE) funded by the Research Council of Norway. The overarching objective of AGRISPACE is to provide comprehensive knowledge on challenges and opportunities for sustainable growth in production and innovation in land-based bio-production across space.

Abstract

This review identifies ‘successful’ policies for biodiversity, cultural heritage, and landscape scenery and recreation in Austria, France, Bavaria (Germany), Wales (UK), and Switzerland, and a comparison with current efforts in Norway. All of these countries face similar risks and challenges, mostly with regard to mountain areas. Sources used for the analysis were the evaluations of the national Rural Development Plans, and the midway evaluation and national ex-post evaluations of the CAP programme period 2000–2006. An evaluation of the Swiss Direct Payment System was available from 2009, as well as information about further development from 2011. Scientific papers and other official reports by, e.g., the OECD, the European Commission and the European Environmental Agency, were used as well. Expert interviews were conducted by telephone and e-mail. Measures deemed particularly successful often had very specific aims, included local information, appeared to involve fairly simple application and organization requirements, were developed and designed in cooperation with farmers and were adapted to local characteristics or challenges. Measures considered less successful were criticized for being unfair in terms of regional repartition of grants, for lacking transparency, for being applied only to small areas, and for requiring a great deal of organization and implementation work. In terms of future developments of the Norwegian agricultural and agri-environmental subsidy system we recommend examining the following particular policies more closely: the Organic Farming scheme in Austria, the Welsh whole-farm scheme Tir Gofal, and the Austrian, Bavarian and Swiss measures for cultural landscape maintenance. Since no ‘best practice’ or ‘standard design’ of agricultural support schemes has been recognized on an international level to date, an enhanced evaluation system will be as important as new and adjusted schemes. Monitoring data suitable for comparison should be collected, based on internationally defined indicators. For the time being, we suggest “double-tracked” agri-environmental support: mainly measures that have proved to be effective; but also measures where positive effects are considered very likely due to well-known cause-effect relationships, even though they may not yet have been thoroughly documented and approved, e.g. because of their long-term character or due to weaknesses in monitoring and evaluation.

To document

Abstract

On small dairy farms, high investment costs and lack of investment capital may delay the modernising of facilities. The aim of this study was to investigate the importance of economics of scale in building costs of barns compared to other sources of variation in costs. The study includes 44 farms with a mean herd size of 49.5 ± 15.1 cows, built between year 1999 and 2006 and with a mean total area in the barns of 896 ± 454 m2. Building cost data were obtained from farmers and merged with construction, mechanisation and layout data from the same barns. Construction costs decreased up to approximately 1250 m2 while mechanisation costs and total building costs decreased up to approximately 1000 m2. A further increase in building area had only limited effect on the building costs per m2. Models including explanatory variables showed that milking and service area was significantly more expensive than other areas. AMS-barns were all together not significantly more expensive than other barns, since the increased mechanisation cost is offset by a lower requirement for milking area. Farmers remodelling their barns were able to realise a modernised building for a certain herd size for a lower cost compared to a completely new building. The use of their own effort varied considerably between projects. In many cases, farmers would be able to find alternative income sources with a higher hourly rate than the value of their own effort suggested by the model.

Abstract

As in many countries throughout Europe, there has been a polarisation within the agricultural landscape of Norway during the last decades. On the one hand there is an increasing trend of intensified use of favourable areas, while on the otherhand there is an increase in the amount of land abandonment of extensively managed or marginal areas (Fjellstad Dramstad 1999, Robinson Sutherland 2002, Haines-Younget al. 2003). Among the main impact factors for biodiversity in agricultural landscapes are increased amount of built-up areas, intensification of agriculture and land abandonment. But different land use practices has been shown to have differential effects on biodiversity (Haines-Young 2009). Finding the relationships between land use practices and effects on biodiversity are fundamental to understand the links between people and their environment and development of sustainable agriculture ....

Abstract

The use of rented land has increased steadily over time in Northern Norway. At the same time there is a common perception that there is an increased regrowth of agricultural land. In this paper we investigate if the use of rented land also is a factor that leads to increased re-growth. We utilize land use data from the 3Q project in Northern Norway. These data are combined with data from the applications for acreage support to divide areas on tree types of properties. The area of abandoned land is explained as a function of property types. Our results show that there is a significant difference between owner used and rented land with respect to the amount of abandoned land on the property. This suggests that when previous farmers have rented out their land, one third of the previously farmed land may have been taken out of productions, and is now identified as abandoned land.

Abstract

The use of rented land has increased steadily over time in Northern Norway. At the same time there is a common perception that there is an increased regrowth of agricultural land. In this paper we investigate if the use of rented land also is a factor that leads to increased re-growth. We utilize land use data from the 3Q project in Northern Norway. These data are combined with data from the applications for acreage support to divide areas on tree types of properties. The area of abandoned land is explained as a function of property types. Our results show that there is a significant difference between owner used and rented land with respect to the amount of abandoned land on the property. This suggests that when previous farmers have rented out their land, one third of the previously farmed land may have been taken out of productions, and is now identified as abandoned land.

Abstract

Several factors influence the value of a lamb carcass throughout the slaughtering season, and therefore have implications for the optimal slaughtering time of lambs. The expected price of the carcass varies through the season due to: Variations in the weight of the lambs, and the growth through the season. The classification of the carcass, i.e., the price per kg changes as the lambs grow. The prices of the various quality changes throughout the season. The quality of the grazing fields limits the possible weight gain and influences the classification of lams. The grazing resources are in general limited, and will affect the possibility of fattening lambs in the fall. The objective with this study is to come up with a tool to help in determining when to slaughter which lambs in the fall when resources are limited. In order to make good decisions, the first step is to calculate the profitability of various slaughtering decisions. I use known characteristics of the lambs as weight, sex etc. to determine expected value of the carcass if slaughtered at various point in time in the future. In order to determine expected quality for the carcasses I have used a multinomial ordered probit regression model to determine the probability for obtaining a particular classification. A linear programming model is used to choose the best alternatives given limited grassing resources. The model can be used to determine optimal slaughtering decisions given a particular group of lambs and resources. By limiting the possible choices in the model, the model user may also investigate the losses associated with alternative slaughtering schemes. In this paper I describe the forecasting models for determining the value of the carcass, I describe the general linear programming model and show some results from running the model.

Abstract

At present there are nearly 20 000 milk producers in Norway, and approximately 10 per cent of them are members of the Norwegian Dairy Financial Recording (NDFR). The NDFR is an important basis for production and financial advice given by the dairies. There is a great interest among milk producers and advisors in comparing results from different farms to find out why some are doing well and some are doing not so well, and to learn from those doing well. Gross margin (GM) per litre of milk produced is the traditional indicator for efficiency. This data, as other data on milk production, indicate that there is a wide variation in gross margin per litre of milk between farms with seemingly similar conditions for producing milk. This is interpreted as a potential for improving the efficiency of many producers. However, for many reasons gross margin per litre of milk is not an ideal indicator. A new version of the NDFR contains more information, for instance information on fixed costs of roughages produced on the farm. It is hoped that the new version of the NDFR makes it a better tool for improving the profitability of milk production. In an ongoing project we try to use the NDFR to analyse who are doing well and why. We use a combination of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and statistical analysis. For each farm we produce an efficiency index, and then we apply statistical methods to find factors that can explain the index. So far we have only very preliminary results. Management factors are important, but the NDFR data-base have very little information on management factors. It is planned to collect such data for a sample of farmers and include that in the study at a later stage.

To document

Abstract

The World Trade Organization (WTO) will initiate negotiations on the further liberalization of the global trade with agricultural commodities by the end of 1999. These negotiations are basedon Article 20 of the Uruguay Round’s Agreement on Agriculture, which states, inter alia, that the reform process is to be continued, with the long-term objective of substantial and progressive reductions in the support and protection of the agricultural sector. In this context, however, a number of issues are to be taken into consideration, including the so-called non-trade concerns. The Norwegian authorities have started preparations for the new round of WTO negotiations, and have placed substantial emphasis on the non-trade concerns. Norwegian agriculture is regarded as being a ”producer” of more than just food and fibres, for example, national food security, viable rural areas and environmental benefits. The term ”Multifunctional Agriculture” is being increasingly applied to describe these additional functions1. With regard to Norwegian agriculture, it will be of major importance for Norway that sufficient consideration is given to the non-trade and other concerns during the next round of the WTO negotiations. In the summer/fall of 1998, the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture initialized an evaluation program in order to survey and analyse a number of issues in relation to ”multifunctional agriculture”. The present report is one of the contributions in this context.