Farm size and farmers environmental-friendly practices in livestock farming

Agriculture is among the major contributors to climate change, accounting for 24 percent of global CO2 emissions. Within the agricultural sector, livestock has a major role in greenhouse gas emissions. However, animal husbandry also affects the environment through nitrogen leaching to water tables from manure and slurry spread or stored on the soil. Both impacts can be diminished by appropriate practices, concerning the effluents storage and the modalities of their spreading on the soil. We investigate to what extent farmers adopt such practices and, more importantly, which are farm and farmers’ characteristics more conducive to the adoption of such practices. In particular, given the predominance of small farms in Italian agriculture, we assess the effect of farm size on the adoption of appropriate practices. To this purpose, we estimate ordered and binomial probit models of the adoption of virtuous practices from data of the 2010 Agricultural Census in Piedmont (Italy). The results suggest that, in general, larger farms are more likely to adopt virtuous practices, but the effect of farm size is nevertheless rather weak. Technical and cost issues linked to the physical conditions (location in hills and mountains) are apparently a relevant impediment to these practices.

Issue Date:
Sep 02 2018
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
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 Record created 2018-09-02, last modified 2020-10-28

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