The Rural Economy Research Centre (RERC) is Teagasc’s Economics and Social Science Research Institute. Its mission is to produce high quality social science research and policy advice to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of Irish Agriculture and to enhance the quality of life in rural Ireland. Staff are very active in national and international research networks, participating in a number of EU Framework projects at present. The Centre has very close links with Universities in Ireland, with some staff teaching and supervising graduate students at these institutions. The work of the Centre is published in a variety of ways, e.g. papers at national and international conferences, national reports, papers in refereed scientific journals and via the Centre’s working paper series.

Recent Submissions

  • Embedding animal welfare in sustainability assessment: an indicator approach

    Brennan, M.; Hennessy, Thia; Dillon, Emma Jane (Teagasc, 2021-11-17)
    In line with growing consumer interest in sustainable food production, a number of farm-level sustainability indicator studies have been published in recent years. Despite the importance of animal welfare, many such frameworks fail to adequately take account of it, mostly due to difficulties in accessing suitable data. This paper demonstrates that it is possible to develop indicators of animal welfare that can be embedded within a wider sustainability framework using a representative farm-level dataset such as the European Union (EU) Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) for Ireland, the Teagasc National Farm Survey. The paper presents a set of sustainability indicators for dairy farms in Ireland for the 2014–2017 period and examines the impact of policy reform on sustainability performance. Headline results show that welfare standards on dairy farms in Ireland have remained stable over the period despite the considerable intensification of the dairy sector following EU milk quota removal. Furthermore, dairy farms that have expanded herd size significantly have improved welfare standards more than farms that have not increased production. An analysis of synergies and trade-offs between the various aspects of sustainability reveals that positive correlations exist between welfare standards and economic and environmental performance. The analysis facilitates the identification of win-win farm-level strategies that can be adopted to improve economic, environmental and animal welfare outcomes. The framework developed here presents opportunities for evaluating policy impacts at the farm level on various aspects of sustainability. The use of the FADN demonstrates the capacity to extend such an approach across the EU.
  • Using a Technology Acceptance Model to investigate what factors influence farmer adoption of a nutrient management plan

    McCormack, Michele; Buckley, Cathal; Kelly, E. (Teagasc, 2021-11-17)
    The agricultural sector will play a key role in reaching the goals set out in the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC, and so understanding farmer behaviour in relation to farm management best practice is important. In this paper, we investigate if the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) can predict farmer adoption of an online nutrient management plan (NMP). A NMP has the potential to reduce the risk of nutrient transfer from agricultural land, without negatively affecting farm-level profitability. The TAM identifies two psychological constructs, perceived usefulness (PU) and perceived ease of use (PEOU), which are believed to be key factors in technology adoption. The data were collected through a survey from 358 farms by a team of professional data recorders in 2015. Results indicate that PU and PEOU of a NMP are positively and significantly related to a farmer’s intention to adopt and use the technology in the future. However, PU, which captures the perceived benefits in terms of usefulness, is the main driver of technology adoption. Results show that those farmers who adopt and use the technology are more likely to have larger farms and are full-time farmers. They use agricultural extension services and the farm is also more likely to be the main contributor to overall household income. The research recommends that the usefulness of a NMP, in terms of increased profitability, improving nutrient management practices, labour and time-saving advantages, should be highlighted and clearly communicated to farmers.
  • Trends and influential factors of high ecological status mobility in Irish Rivers

    O'Donoghue, Cathal; Meng, Yuting; Ryan, Mary; Kilgarriff, Paul; Zhang, Chaosheng; Bragina, Lyubov; Daly, Karen; Environmental Protection Agency (Elsevier BV, 2021-11-10)
    The decline in high ecological water status in rivers is a significant concern in European countries. It is thus important to investigate the factors that cause sites to lose high status in order to undertake measures to protect and restore high status water quality. Analysis of 20 years of water quality data reveals strong mobility between high status and non-high status (especially good status) rivers. Associations between this mobility and socio-economic and physical environmental variables were estimated by multinomial logistic regression at national scale and regional scale. Based on reported changes in water quality status cross across 1990, 2000 and 2010, four classes of the mobility of high status were defined in this study: those sites that maintain high status (maintain), enter high status (enter), fluctuate between high and non-high status (fluctuate) and exit from high status (exit). The national results indicate that agricultural activity as indicated by variables representing intensity of livestock farming (organic nitrogen) and tillage farming (cereal share) and elevation had significant negative impacts on high status rivers. Meanwhile, significant differences in population density and septic tank density between ‘exit’, ‘maintain’, ‘fluctuate’ and ‘enter’ classes indicate that these factors played important roles in the stability of high status rivers. The regional outcomes reveal differential significant pressures across regions. For example, rainfall and elevation had positive impacts on high status rivers in the north-west region, while organic nitrogen had a negative effect in the south-west. This paper demonstrates the challenge in achieving the Water Framework Directive goal of maintaining high status rivers, given the sensitive and highly differentiated nature of areas that have lost high status or fluctuated in and out of high status. This paper also suggests the necessity for localised policies and mitigation measures.
  • Policy Incentives and the Organic Value Chain in Ireland

    O’Donoghue, Cathal; Ryan, Mary; Clavin, Dan; Heery, Declan; Leavy, Elaine; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL ON FOOD SYSTEM DYNAMICS, 2017)
    Merged administration data are utilized to study farms that have converted to organic beef production in Ireland, to draw lessons for future CAP scheme design. Results show the complex structure of organic farms with lower cattle age progression than in non-organic systems, suggesting leakage to conventional agriculture. There is also a flow of animals as they age from poorer land in the West to better Eastern areas that are more suitable for finishing, however the flow is less for organic farms. Additionally, there is less specialisation on organic farms as more animals are finished, so leakage is less than expected.
  • Hobson’s Choice: Finding the right mix of agricultural and environmental policy for Irish agriculture

    Donnellan, Trevor; Hanrahan, Kevin; Lanigan, Gary J. (2021-11-16)
    Abstract As part of its international obligations, Ireland faces emission reduction targets with respect to greenhouse gases (GHG). These reduction targets are to be achieved both in the short term and over the coming decades. Agriculture is a substantial source (33%) of Ireland’s GHG emissions. Whereas the economic welfare of farmers has been the dominant force in shaping agriculture policy for several decades, there has been a notable increase in environmental concerns and a gradual emergence of environmental policies which are relevant to agriculture, particularly in the last 10 years. The future evolution of the agri-food sector in Ireland must therefore be seen in the context of both the economic growth objectives of national agricultural policy, as well as national environmental policy objectives arising from international obligations. In light of the recent proposals with respect to the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post-2020 (EC, 2018), environmental objectives will become an increasingly important subset of the CAP objectives and the implementation of the CAP in Ireland. The EU Effort Sharing Decision (ESD) requires that Ireland reduce its non-ETS GHG emission by 20% by 2020 relative to the 2005 level. The reduction target for the non-ETS sector for 2030 is 30%, but incorporates so called flexibility mechanisms designed to make the achievement of this target less onerous. A partial equilibrium model of Irish agriculture is used to explore differing future outcomes in terms of the sector’s size and associated GHG emissions to 2030. The scenario analysis employed demonstrates the implications of different future pathways for bovine (dairy and beef) agriculture, the dominant sector in Irish agriculture and the principal source of its GHG emissions. Mitigation actions are then factored in to provide measures of future levels of emissions inclusive of this mitigation capacity. While technical mitigation actions are largely grounded in interventions that are based on science, the scenario analysis makes clear that the scale of the ultimate challenge in mitigating agricultural GHG emissions will be determined by the overall size of the agriculture sector and the intensity of production per hectare. The dairy and beef sectors in Ireland are noteworthy for their contrasting levels of profitability; dependence on support payments; and farm income. Now that the EU milk quota has been eliminated, from the perspective of economic development, an increase in the size of the dairy sector and entry into the dairy sector are desirable economic policy objectives. However, the paper demonstrates the strong contrast between dairy and beef farms, not just in terms of income but also in terms of intensity of production per hectare and the associated level of emissions produced. It follows that a transition from beef production to dairy production, while desirable from the point of view of farm income, could have adverse consequences for emissions.
  • Policy Incentives as Behavioural Drivers of Beef Enterprises in Ireland: Where are the Kinks?

    McCormack, Michele; O' Donoghue, Cathal (2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 182733, European Association of Agricultural Economists., 2014)
    The current structure of agricultural production is still influenced by historical coupled payments, even though it has been eight years since decoupled payments were introduced. Much of the expansion in the Irish cattle herd that occurred during the era of the MacSharry reforms is still visible. In this paper we consider the incentives associated with the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) over time in relation to production. Our primary focus is on subsidies that were available to the beef sector, and we investigate the behavioural pressures associated with these incentives. We have developed a Hypothetical microsimulation model using a typical farm, based on plausible values taken from the Teagasc National Farm Survey (NFS) 1995. We are investigating if subsidies available to the beef sector in Ireland through the CAP since 1984 resulted in non-linearity in the Direct Payment Schedule faced by cattle farmers, and if so where were these kinks and what were the behavioural pressures associated with these incentives? Identifying non-linearity in the Direct Payment Schedule indicates where incentives occurred. Large kinks are associated with large incentives at that point. We calculated a total payment for each subsidy from 1984 to 2014, and constructed a Direct Payment Schedule that varies by stocking rate. We find that subsidies, and in particular the CAP reform payments of the MacSharry era introduced large discontinuities or kink points in the Direct Payment Schedule of beef farmers, indicating that there were large incentives for farmers to produce at or just before these points.
  • Human dynamics and the intergenerational farm transfer process in later life: A roadmap for future generational renewal in agriculture policy

    Conway, Shane Francis; McDonagh, John; Farrell, Maura; Kinsella, Anne; National University of Ireland, Galway; Geographical Society of Ireland (International Farm Management Association and Institute of Agricultural Management, 2019)
    The senior generation’s reluctance and indeed resistance to alter the status quo of the existing management and ownership structure of their family farm is undoubtedly strong within the farming community. This phenomenon has resulted in extraordinary socio-economic challenges for young people aspiring to embark on a career in farming. The reasons why older farmers fail to plan effectively and expeditiously for the future are expansive, and range from the potential loss of identity, status and power that may occur as a result of engaging in the process, to the intrinsic multi-level relationship farmers have with their farms. These so-called ‘soft issues’ i.e. the emotional and social dimensions involved, are the issues that distort and dominate the older generation’s decisions on the future trajectory of the farm. These really are the ‘hard issues’. This paper draws on three interrelated journal articles exploring the complex human dynamics influencing the decision-making processes surrounding farm succession and retirement to put forth a series of recommendations that sensitively deal with problematic issues surrounding generational renewal in agriculture, whilst also ensuring farmers’ emotional wellbeing in later life.
  • Mobilising Land Mobility in the European Union: An Under-Researched Phenomenon

    Conway, Shane Francis; Farrell, Maura; McDonagh, John; Kinsella, Anne (International Farm Management Association and Institute of Agricultural Management, 2020)
    Interest in land mobility and its impact on the structural development and economic growth of the agricultural sector has grown considerably amid concerns about the ageing European farming population. There have been calls throughout Europe for structural and institutional deterrents obstructing the passage of farmland from the older to younger generation of farmers to overcome this phenomenon and help facilitate generational renewal in agriculture. Nonetheless, gaining access to land is widely reported to be the single largest barrier facing young people attempting to enter farming. Whilst land mobility is given homogenous importance throughout Europe, this view point paper highlights that policies and regulations relating to land differ considerably across EU Member States. There is also a surprising scarcity of literature and academic discussion on access to land in a European context, despite its crucial role in the survival, continuity and future prosperity of the farming industry and the broader sustainability of rural communities. By focussing on the key policy and structural issues hampering access to agricultural land throughout Europe, and using the Republic of Ireland’s Land Mobility Service as a good practice example of how to help facilitate the process, this paper provides a rationale for why a major European study is required to investigate the factors which influence land mobility in each of the 27 EU Member States in order to inform future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Strategic Plans, particularly in relation to generational renewal objectives.
  • Till death do us part: Exploring the Irish farmer-farm relationship in later life through the lens of ‘Insideness’

    Conway, Shane Francis; McDonagh, John; Farrell, Maura; Kinsella, Anne; National University of Ireland, Galway; Geographical Society of Ireland (International Farm Management Association and Institute of Agricultural Management, 2018)
    The senior generation’s unwillingness to relinquish managerial duties and retire is a globally recognized characteristic of intergenerational family farm transfer. This is despite the array of financial incentives put in place to stimulate and entice the process. Applying Rowles’ concept of ‘insideness’ as a theoretical framework, this paper brings into focus the suitability and appropriateness of previous and existing farm transfer policy strategies, by presenting an insightful, nuanced analysis of the deeply embedded attachment older farmers have with their farms, and how such a bond can stifle the necessary hand over of the farm business to the next generation. This research employs a multi-method triangulation design, consisting of a self-administered questionnaire and an Irish adaptation of the International FARMTRANSFERS Survey in conjunction with complimentary Problem-Centred Interviews, to generate a comprehensive insight into the intricate, multi-level farmer-farm relationship in later life. The overriding themes to emerge from the content analysis of the empirical research are farmer’s inherit desire to stay rooted in place in old age and also to maintain legitimate connectedness within the farming community by remaining active and productive on the farm. Additionally, there is a strong sense of nostalgia attributed to the farm, as it is found to represent a mosaic of the farmer’s achievements as well as being a landscape of memories. The paper concludes by suggesting that a greater focus on the farmer-farm relationship has the potential to finally unite farm transfer policy efforts with the mind-set of its targeted audience, after decades of disconnect.
  • MEASURING GHG EMISSIONS ACROSS THE AGRI-FOOD SECTOR VALUE CHAIN: THE DEVELOPMENT OF BIO - A BIO-ECONOMY INPUT-OUTPUT MODEL

    O’Donoghue, Cathal; Chyzheuskaya, Aksana; Grealis, Eoin; Finnegan, William; Goggin, Jamie; Hynes, Stephen; Kilcline, Kevin; Ryan, Mary; Science Foundation Ireland; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; et al. (INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL ON FOOD SYSTEM DYNAMICS, 2018)
    Sustainable intensification is one of the greatest challenges facing the agri-food sector which needs to produce more food to meet increasing global demand, while minimising negative environmental impacts such as agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Sustainable intensification relates not just to primary production, but also has wider value chain implications. An input-output model is a modelling framework which contains the flows across a value chain within a country. Input-output (IO) models have been disaggregated to have finer granular detail in relation to agricultural sub-sectoral value chains. National IO models with limited agricultural disaggregation have been developed to look at carbon footprints and within agriculture to look at the carbon footprint of specific value chains. In this paper we adapt an agriculturally disaggregated IO model to analyse the source of emissions in different components of agri-food value chains. We focus on Ireland, where emissions from agriculture comprise nearly 30% of national emissions and where there has been a major expansion and transformation in agriculture since the abolition of milk quota restrictions. In a substantial Annex to this paper, we describe the modelling assumptions made in developing this model. Breaking up the value chain into components, we find that most value is generated at the processing stage of the value chain, with greater processing value in more sophisticated value chains such as dairy processing. On the other hand, emissions are in general highest in primary production, albeit emissions from purchased animal feed being higher for poultry than for other value chains, given the lower direct emissions from poultry than from ruminants or sheep. The analysis highlights that emissions per unit of output are much higher for beef and sheep meat value chains than for pig and poultry meat value chains.
  • Developing a microsimulation model for farm forestry planting decisions

    Ryan, Mary; O’Donoghue, Cathal (International Microsimulation Association, 2018)
    There is increasing pressure in Europe to convert land from agriculture to forestry which would enable the sequestration of additional carbon, thereby mitigating agricultural greenhouse gas production. However, there is little or no information available on the drivers of the land use change decision from agriculture to forestry at individual farm level, which is complicated by the inter-temporal nature of the decision.This paper describes a static microsimulation approach which provides a better understanding of the life-cycle relativity of forestry and agricultural incomes, using Ireland as a casestudy. The microsimulation methodology allows for the generation of actual and counterfactual forest and agricultural income streams and for other attributes of utility such as long-term wealth and leisure, for the first time. These attributes are then modelled using purpose built forest models and farm microdata from a 30 year longitudinal dataset. The results show the importance of financial drivers but additionally show that wealth and leisure are also important factors in this inter-temporal land use change decision. By facilitating the examination of the distribution of farms across the farming population, the use of a static microsimulation approach allows us to make a considerable contribution to the literature in relation to the underlying drivers of farm afforestation behaviour. In the broader context of Climate Smart Agriculture and the Grand Challenges facing the intensification of agricultural production, these findings have implications for policies that seek to optimize natural resource use.
  • Hidden Underemployment Among Irish Farm Holders 1996-2011

    Loughrey, Jason; Hennessy, Thia (Agricultural Economics Society Annual Conference, 2013)
    This paper examines the factors driving hidden underemployment on Irish farms during the course of the economic boom in Ireland and the subsequent economic decline post 2008. This measure of hidden underemployment is due to differences between the farmer‟s reported amount of labour and the standard labour requirement estimated in the Teagasc National Farm Survey. Hidden underemployment can be attributed to a number of factors relating to inadequate employment situations as described at the 16th International Conference of Labour Statisticians (16th ICLS) such as low productivity, casual work practices and the poor utilisation of skills and other factors specific to agriculture and/or self employment. We place particular attention upon the potential role of off-farm labour supply in solving the underemployment problem. We use a two-stage residual inclusion model and a random effects probit model to examine the forces behind farm underemployment. This paper provides an interesting set of results given that the end of the economic boom phase co-incided closely but not precisely with the decoupling of farm-level subsidies in 2006.
  • The Sustainable Intensification of the Irish Dairy Sector

    Dillon, Emma Jane; Hennessy, Thia; Buckley, Cathal; Donnellan, Trevor; Hanrahan, Kevin; Moran, Brian; Ryan, Mary (Annual Conference of the Agricultural Economics Society, 2014)
    The concept of sustainability is one of the forefront issues in global agricultural production at present, given mounting pressure to increase food production in both a socially responsible and environmentally friendly way. From an Irish perspective the sustainable intensification of agriculture is of particular relevance given ambitious targets to increase milk production by 50 percent by 2020, in the context of European milk quota removal. Alongside this, environmental targets may be specified, meaning that expansion would have to be achieved in a sustainable way. To evaluate dairy farm-level sustainability a series of indicators are developed here using Teagasc National Farm Survey FADN (Farm Accountancy Data Network) data for Ireland from 2012. Three dimensions, reflecting the multifaceted nature of sustainability (economic, environmental and social) are considered. Given the environmental challenges inherent in the sustainable intensification of agriculture, it is encouraging to observe that the more intensive, top performing farms (in an economic sense) emit relatively less greenhouse gases when compared to their less intensive counterparts. Conversely, the better performing farms in economic terms tend to have higher nitrogen surplus per hectare on average. This is consistent with their higher rates of production intensity but poses a challenge in terms of sustainable expansion. That said this analysis demonstrates that the nitrogen use efficiency of milk production is positively correlated with economic performance, with more intensive farms producing relatively more milk per kg of nitrogen surplus. From a social perspective demography also tends to be correlated with economic performance. These indicators allow for the continued assessment of the sustainability status of Irish farming.
  • The Potential of Blended Learning in Agricultural Education of Ireland

    Deegan, Donna; Wims, Padraig; Pettit, Tony (IJSART, 2015-05-21)
    The management of agricultural education faces on-going challenges to deliver current and effective materials in an approach that takes advantage of developments in education technology. In this article the use of blended learning was compared with the traditional approach for the instruction of theoretical materials in agricultural education. This study used a pre-test, post-test experimental design with agricultural college students. All students were taught using either a traditional or blended methodology. They were subsequently assessed to determine their level of knowledge. Two key findings from this study were highlighted: Firstly, regardless of their age profile all learners achieved significantly better exam results following blended teaching for theoretical material. Secondly, academically weaker students performed significantly better following the blended method of delivery. Key implications arising from this research indicate that the use of the blended method of delivery can increase students acquisition of knowledge for learners of all ages; blended learning can bring text heavy materials to life and makes them more interactive and less mundane; the learning experience and learning outcomes for academically weaker students are improved through the blended learning environment.
  • Measuring the impact of improved animal health practices on the economic efficiency of Irish dairy farms

    Dillon, Emma Jane; Hennessy, Thia (Agricultural Economics Society, 2013)
    Cost and production efficiency gains must be achieved across herds if the Irish dairy sector is to prosper in a post-quota environment. As such, improvements in animal health are required and the costs of diseases such as mastitis must be reduced. Elevated levels of somatic cell count (SCC) found in milk are an indicator of the prevalence of clinical and subclinical mastitis in dairy herds. Given an EU regulatory limit of 400,000 (cells/mL) (Council Directive 92/46/EEC), the adverse effect of the disease on milk quality and the increasing practice of milk processors offering financial incentives for reduced cell count levels, the benefits of improved farm management practices resulting in lowered SCC are quantified here at the farm-level. Teagasc National Farm Survey data from over 300 nationally representative Irish dairy farms over a four year period (2008-2011) is utilised in the analysis. Preliminary regression results from a pooled OLS model indicate that a cell count reduction of 100,000 (cells/mL) results in an increase in gross margin of 6% or €87 per cow when all other pertinent factors are controlled for. The efficacy of herd management practices such as milk recording in improving animal health was also confirmed within the model. A cell count reduction of 17% was found as a result of milk recording within the herd, when all other variables were taken into account.
  • How to Strengthen Innovation Support Services in Agriculture with Regard to Multi-Stakeholder Approaches

    Faure, Guy; Knierim, Andrea; Koutsouris, Alex; Ndah, Hycenth Tim; Audouin, Sarah; Zarokosta, Elena; Wielinga, Eelke; Triomphe, Bernard; Mathé, Syndhia; Temple, Ludovic; et al. (CAIRN, 2019)
    The new agricultural EU policy aims at strengthening actors’ capacities for innovation by taking into account the complexity of innovation processes. This paper aims to characterise the key innovation support services (ISS) which are needed to support actors to innovate. In the EU AgriSpin project, we analysed 57 case studies describing innovation processes. We used a common grid to characterize ISS. Our results show that ISS depends on the phase of the innovation. During the initial phases, there is a need for innovative support services (e.g. network building, support to innovator). In the latter phases, there is a need for more conventional services (e.g. training, credit) both at farm level, value chain level and territory level. Brokering functions and new services are key in supporting actors to innovate by facilitating interactions for co-production of knowledge, co-design of technologies and, identification of new institutional arrangements.
  • Risky (farm) business: Perceptions of economic risk in farm succession and inheritance

    Leonard, Brian; Farrell, Maura; Mahon, Marie; Kinsella, Anne; O'Donoghue, Cathal; Royal Dublin Society; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (Elsevier BV, 2020-04)
    Highlights • Generational renewal is high on the political agenda for agriculture, with young farmers linked to positive outcomes. • There are limited policy incentives for older farmers to consider engaging in the farm succession and inheritance process. • Farmers perceive risks and uncertainties regarding the transfer process, and thus avoid handing over to their successors. • Taxation, retirement income, long term care cost, and marital breakdown are motivations for farmers to retain ownership. • Financial incentives related to generational renewal must aim to alleviate the level of risk perceived by farmers.
  • AgriBenchmark: Benchmarking Sustainable Nutrient Management on Irish Farms

    Murphy, Paul N.C.; Thomas, Ian; Buckley, Cathal; Kelly, Edel; Dillon, Emma; Hennessy, Thia; Environmental Protection Agency (2020-10-14)
    AgriBenchmark explored the possibilities for benchmarking of nutrient management performance on Irish farms. Teagasc National Farm Survey (NFS) data (2008–2015; 1446 farms) were used to characterise and explore the potential for improvement of farm nutrient management performance and resultant aspects of environmental and economic sustainability through the derivation of three key performance indicators (KPIs) at the farm-gate level: farm nutrient balance (kgha–1), nutrient use efficiency (NUE; %) and profitability (gross margin; €ha–1). In this report, the farm nutrient balance is defined as the farm-gate nutrient imports (fertiliser, feed, animals, etc.) minus the exports (animals, crops, wool and milk). A positive balance (surplus) is considered to represent a nutrient source pressure in terms of the risk of nutrient losses to the wider environment. The data and analyses in this report cover the main, more intensive agricultural systems in Ireland (excluding pig and poultry farms) and are representative of, on average, 61% of farms nationally and 76% of the total utilised agriculture area (UAA; excluding commonage).
  • Methodological Framework for Modelling the Impact of the Agriculture to Forestry Land Use Change at the Farm Level

    O'Donoghue, Cathal; Ryan, Mary; Environmental Protection Agency (2020-10-13)
    There is a growing literature on the use of microsimulation models for agriculture, forestry and land use change (Richardson et al., 2014). Much of this literature addresses issues related to productivity and incomes (O’Donoghue, 2014), however consistent with an increasing global focus on sustainability, there is also increasing interest in combining analyses of both economic and environmental impacts (Ramilan et al., 2011). A sub-field of agricultural microsimulation addresses issues associated with land-use change from agriculture to forestry and vice versa (Ryan and O’Donoghue, 2019; Phimmavong & Keenan, 2020) and vice versa. The former transition is particularly important as it helps to mitigate significant carbon emissions from agriculture. This paper describes the development of a model that incorporates both economic and environmental dimensions of the land-use change from agriculture to forestry.
  • Effect of classroom intervention on student food selection and plate waste: Evidence from a randomized control trial

    Serebrennikov, Dmytro; Katare, Bhagyashree; Kirkham, Lisa; Schmitt, Sara; Indiana State Department of Health (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2020-01-09)
    Background U.S. children are failing to meet the recommended daily 4 cups of fruits and vegetables. New federal guidelines were implemented for healthier school lunches for the National School Lunch Programs (NSLP). Consequently, students waste large amounts of fruits and vegetables. Several organizations advocate implementation of classroom nutrition education programs as a school nutrition policy. Methods We conducted a randomized control trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a classroom nutrition education on food consumption behavior of public elementary school students. Our intervention was designed to improve students’ preferences for fruits and vegetables. We collected data using digital-photography, and estimated the amount of fruits and vegetables selected and wasted using ordinary least squares. Results The nutrition education program had no impact on the amount of fruits and vegetables selected by the students in the treatment group. We also find no significant difference in the amount of fruits and vegetables wasted by students in the treatment and control group. Conclusion Nutrition education did not change students’ consumption behavior, implying the proposed policy might not be optimal. Inducing a behavioral change in elementary school students is an intricate process and might require more than classroom lessons to change their dietary habits.

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