Proceedings

An Lp-model To Analyse Economic And Ecological Sustainability In Dutch Dairy Farming

Farm level modelling is a way to determine how farm management adjustments and environmental policy affect different sustainability attributes. Attributes can be measured by means of an indicator. The objectives of this paper are to include indicators for economic and ecological sustainability in a dairy farm LP (linear programming)-model and to use the model to analyse experimental dairy farm “De Marke”. Net farm income is included for measuring economic sustainability. Eutrophication potential, nitrate concentration in groundwater, water use, acidification potential, global warming potential and ecotoxicity are included as ecological indicators.
Three optimisations are done with the adapted model: (1) basis situation without environmental legislation, (2) basis situation with Dutch environmental legislation for 2004, and (3) situation with farm management adjustments applied at “De Marke”.

Results of the optimisations show that including environmental legislation leads to a lower net farm income and better performance on all ecological indicators. The farm management measures applied at “De Marke” result in even better performance on ecological sustainability. The model shows to be an effective tool to compare environmental impact of different sets of adaptations in farm management and their financial consequences.

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Author(s): Berentsen, P.B.M., de Boer, I.J.M, Giesen, G.W.J., Huirne, R.B.M., van Calker, K.J.

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Organizations(s): Animal Production Systems Group, Wageningen University, Farm Management Group, Wageningen University, Research Institute for Animal Husbandry, Lelystad