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Implications of CAP-reform for land management and runoff control in England and Wales

Implications of CAP-reform for land management and runoff control in England and Wales

Posthumus, Helena and Morris, Joe (2010) Implications of CAP-reform for land management and runoff control in England and Wales. Land Use Policy, 27 (1). pp. 42-50. ISSN 0264-8377 (doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2008.06.002)

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Abstract

WTO negotiations, as well as problems associated with intensive agriculture, such as overproduction, dependency on high levels of subsidies, diffuse pollution, soil degradation and loss of wildlife, have led to a reconsideration of agricultural policies in Europe. In April 2005, the new common agricultural policy (CAP)-reform came into force in the United Kingdom, decoupling financial support to farmers from agricultural production. Farm income support payments are now linked to compliance with standards (cross-compliance rules) which protect the environment, animal health and welfare. In the light of these policy changes, semi-structured interviews were carried out with 36 farmers in five catchments in the
UK to explore interrelationships between CAP-reform, agricultural land management and runoff-related problems. Results from three catchments are specifically highlighted because of their relevance for soil policy.
The CAP-reform appears to facilitate and accelerate changes in the agricultural sector thatwere already happening. It is likely that upland livestock farms will extensify further, which will reduce environmental burdens such as diffuse pollution, soil compaction and runoff. The uptake of agri-environment schemes by individual farmers has increased since the CAP-reform. However, additional impacts are limited as there is a tendency among participants to enter these schemes based on existing features and practices.
Although most farmers interviewed for this study appear to recognise the need to reduce soil erosion and diffuse pollution, they are less convinced they should be held responsible for controlling storm-water runoff from farmland that might contribute to flooding downstream. However, there are opportunities to achieve several objectives simultaneously, including improved soil management, runoff control and reduced pollution. Lessons can be learned from farmers’ opinions about CAP-reform, from successful interventions that aimed to reduce soil erosion and diffuse pollution, and also from failures. Recommendations are made for improvements to the current agri-environment schemes and to promote land management practices with less environmental burden.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: runoff, soil erosion, agriculture, land management, common agricultural policy
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Livelihoods & Institutions Department
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2011 15:33
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/4001

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