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Measuring changes in agricultural land quality: the case of Italian farms

Presented atFirst Global Soil Biodiversity Conference, Dijon (France)
Publication date2014
Abstract

Soil is a vital pore for life and particularly for agriculture. Since the agricultural sector constitutes a large part of the economy of several countries, this indicates the need for land management practices. This study tries to address the link between soil biodiversity and soil services and particularly the contribution of soil quality to agricultural production. The main objective of the research is to estimate the economic value of soil biodiversity and its interplay with crop biodiversity. In the absence of precise data to measure farms soil nutrient stocks overtime, it is necessary to evaluate the intertemporal role of one period's yields affecting the next period's yields. By relying on a large panel dataset, we develop methods, using econometric techniques, to examine the interaction between soil biota functions, crop biodiversity and agricultural practices as well as to understand the factors that may influence the current and future use of soil ecosystem services. This paper offers a preliminary examination of agricultural production with respect to fertility management within the Italian farms. We use dataset from a long-term study from the Italian Farm Accountancy Data Network (RICA). Farm selection is developed according to three variables of stratification: geographical location, type of farming and economic dimension. The preliminary findings indicate that crop diversification and soil fertility have a positive effect on farmer welfare and Crop diversification can be a potential strategy to improve or maintain soil fertility. An important characteristic of this study is the use of a large panel dataset that allows the capture of changes over time and the consideration of past events that influence the current outcomes. By further work this study aims to provide a reliable framework to secure farm crop production and encourage the development and new methods adaption by farmers, and contribute to the policymaking for future development of land resources.

Keywords
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Soil quality
  • Crop diversification
  • Ecosystem function
Citation (ISO format)
ZOUPANIDOU, Elisavet. Measuring changes in agricultural land quality: the case of Italian farms. In: First Global Soil Biodiversity Conference. Dijon (France). 2014.
Identifiers
  • PID : unige:137126
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