Presenter/Author Information

Marit E. Kragt
Michael J. Robertson

Keywords

agriculture, apsim, conservation practices, ecosystem services

Start Date

1-7-2012 12:00 AM

Description

The concept of ecosystem services (ES) is widely used to highlight theinterdependencies between agricultural and environmental systems. Many ESprovide direct production benefits to agriculture-even those that are not directlyproducing agricultural commodities, such as pollination, water regulation, and soilretention. Farm management practices may produce ES or ‘disservices’, such asnutrient pollution or greenhouse gas emissions. Few studies have attempted toquantify the potential of agriculture to produce multiple ES, and to estimate thepossibilities for joint production of marketed and non-marketed ES. A quantificationof the trade-offs between ES provision and production of farm commodities canhelp to better target agricultural policies.We use a well-established biophysical farm-systems model (APSIM) to estimatehow ES can be jointly produced on mixed crop-livestock farms in the wheatbelt ofWestern Australia. We focus our assessment on the joint supply of agriculturalcommodities (crop yields and livestock weight gain) and non-commodity ES(groundcover, soil carbon, nitrogen supply, and water regulation). Our analysis fillsthe knowledge gaps identified by scholars such as Pilgrim et al. [2010], Turpin etal. [2010], and Wossink and Swinton [2007], by estimating quantitatively howecosystem services can be jointly produced in an agricultural system, and byquantifying the trade-offs between the services provided. The analysis shows that,in general, win-win situations can be achieved between increasing the productionvalue of marketed agricultural commodities, and improved ES provision in our casestudy region. In order to better reflect the non-marketed ES values in decisionmaking, further economic valuation research is essential.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Modelling trade-offs between ecosystem services and agricultural production in Western Australia

The concept of ecosystem services (ES) is widely used to highlight theinterdependencies between agricultural and environmental systems. Many ESprovide direct production benefits to agriculture-even those that are not directlyproducing agricultural commodities, such as pollination, water regulation, and soilretention. Farm management practices may produce ES or ‘disservices’, such asnutrient pollution or greenhouse gas emissions. Few studies have attempted toquantify the potential of agriculture to produce multiple ES, and to estimate thepossibilities for joint production of marketed and non-marketed ES. A quantificationof the trade-offs between ES provision and production of farm commodities canhelp to better target agricultural policies.We use a well-established biophysical farm-systems model (APSIM) to estimatehow ES can be jointly produced on mixed crop-livestock farms in the wheatbelt ofWestern Australia. We focus our assessment on the joint supply of agriculturalcommodities (crop yields and livestock weight gain) and non-commodity ES(groundcover, soil carbon, nitrogen supply, and water regulation). Our analysis fillsthe knowledge gaps identified by scholars such as Pilgrim et al. [2010], Turpin etal. [2010], and Wossink and Swinton [2007], by estimating quantitatively howecosystem services can be jointly produced in an agricultural system, and byquantifying the trade-offs between the services provided. The analysis shows that,in general, win-win situations can be achieved between increasing the productionvalue of marketed agricultural commodities, and improved ES provision in our casestudy region. In order to better reflect the non-marketed ES values in decisionmaking, further economic valuation research is essential.