Increased cultivation of legumes has the potential to offer multiple biophysical and economic effects with complex interactions at field, farm and EU level. Therefore any increase in the use of legume crops requires on the one hand an examination of cropping practices, types and extent of legume cultivation to determine the best options from a private as well as a public point of view. Rotations play an important role in defining temporal interactions and impacts. It is also necessary to consider that an exploitation of potential positive externalities of legume crops may require policy intervention. To justify policy intervention these benefits have to be balanced in the social cost benefit analysis while policy impacts will be assessed with the help of the partial equilibrium modelling approach. At the EU scale, this work will analyse the consequences of policy interventions on quantities and prices of agricultural products while the social cost benefit analysis (SCBA) will provide arguments for policy intervention.
Farm structural and crop production data collection (with WP6 / WP2)
Collection of data relating to existing and proposed novel cropping systems will provide basic data for the financial and economic analysis of production options. This includes externalities of cropping activities as well as information on rotational effects. Data analysis will prepare the next step – the analysis at rotation level and will allow the determination of best cropping practices for specific agro-environmental conditions given economic social and environmental criteria.
Generation and evaluation of crop management and rotations (with WP6 / WP2)
Rotations or cropping sequences are required to allow for the analysis of interdependencies within cropping systems and to examine costs and benefits from increased legume cropping in a temporal context. Different legume crops and their proportion in different rotations lead to different agronomic impacts such as levels of agrochemical input (N-fertilizer, pesticides) and amounts and quality of forage and feeds. This affects the production of greenhouse gases and other externalities. A limited number of crop rotations will be generated and evaluated using rules formulated on the basis of expert knowledge and experimental data and determined in WP6 using biophysical models. The models ROTOR and MODAM-FSSIM model will be adapted and applied. Results in the form of evaluated rotations will be input into the economic models.
Farm-level evaluation of legume based cropping practices and policy instrument
Given evaluated rotations, a farm level modelling approach on the basis of MODAM-FSSIM will be used to analyse the economic performance and interdependencies of legume based cropping practices for different conditions of market prices, policy instruments and for different farm types. This will be undertaken to analyse farm level interactions for typical farms. This approach will generate recommendations with respect to the type and intensity of legumes based cropping systems, policy instruments and extension material for typical farms.
GHG mitigation costs
Increased cultivation of legumes offers several non-market benefits that are relevant to current policy. This task will consider how the quantification and valuation of these impacts can change the returns to production at a range of scales. How the climate change mitigation potential offered by legume cultivation can be exploited in relatively cost-effective emissions mitigation approaches will be examined.
The foregoing analysis will show whether private costs of legumes surpass their benefits and whether one set of external benefits of legumes is sufficient to justify their policy support. With the help of the CAPRI model, the impact of legume-incorporating cropping systems can be shown on a range of environmental and socio-economic indicators across European regions. Moreover, farmer behaviour can be modelled for different policy options, which can provide an indication of the chance of success of a policy. The consequences of such policy options on other markets of legume use can also be examined. CAPRI is, however, based on data for existing cropping systems; extrapolating these to other regions will be a challenge. See http://www.capri-model.org/
Social Cost Benefit Analysis
Cost benefit analyses are a widely applied tool to compare different policy options. The social cost benefit analyses complements this methodology by applying interest rates accounting for intergenerational equity, excluding public costs and including – if available – monetarized ecosystem and societal services. The SCBA will show to what extent legume cropping deserves public support and fosters EU goals.
All research partners are involved in WP4. Tasks are led by Peter Zander (ZALF) and Dominic Moran (SAC)