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Farmers' Choices: Management Practices to Reduce Nutrient Leakage within a Swedish Catchment
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2002 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, ISSN 0964-0568, Vol. 45, no 5, 673-689 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper analyses farmers' strategies on management practices for the reduction of nutrient releases, within a Swedish catchment. The main objective of the European Union water framework directive is to obtain good ecological water quality, and the approach is specifically stipulated to be catchment-based. Eutrophication is generally stated as the main environmental problem in water management and agricultural production is the major cause of nutrient leakage. The analysis concentrates on current agricultural management practices to reduce nutrient leakage. Farmers are beginning to experience a new awareness about nutrient use and see manure as a resource instead of a waste product. Further, those factors that are decisive for decision making are investigated, including information sources. The farm economy, the level of ecological knowledge and regulations illustrate the main obstacles linked to decision making. Professional magazines and informal discussions are considered the most esteemed information sources. Farmers' disposition to change, and co-operation, are also discussed, both of which are of vital importance for the development of new official administrative procedures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 45, no 5, 673-689 p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13437DOI: 10.1080/0964056022000013066OAI: diva2:20725
Available from: 2003-12-18 Created: 2003-12-18
In thesis
1. Managing agricultural nutrient leaching within the EC Water Framework Directive in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing agricultural nutrient leaching within the EC Water Framework Directive in Sweden
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Agricultural management practices geared towards reducing nutrient leaching are in focus for the research presented in this thesis. Critical measures for reducing diffuse pollution from the agricultural sector depend on decisions of individual farmers. It is useful to take stock of what different stakeholders are actually doing to reduce nutrient leaching and analyze their reasoning before defining a new administrative process. Stakeholder perceptions about potentials and problems concerning management of agricultural practices are analyzed with a systems approach using various analytical methods, and put in relation to the implementation of EC Water Framework Directive in Sweden. The methods used include surveys, focus group interviews, model comparison, sensitivity analyses and analyses of climate change implications.

The results indicate a general positive attitude among stakeholders towards the main characteristics of the newly introduced directive. They also reveal that a move towards a pro-active process was perceived as an additional positive factor for the improvement of water quality, where specific activities and measures are carried out according to planning based on local assessments. The respondents pointed out that a national approach would put necessary pressure on local politicians to define environmental objectives and provide resources to fulfil them. The current findings indicate that decision making for farmers is a complex procedure and that the different factors need to be addressed in order to obtain a change in agricultural practices.

Consistent legislation that is clear about power and rights is fundamental for cooperation to function when volunteerism and enthusiasm are absent. Environmental and socio-economic conditions change constantly, and administration has to be flexible to be able to adapt. Having access to and being able to use relevant data is only one important factor for stakeholder involvement. To give farmers the opportunity to further develop production towards reduced nutrient losses, appropriate information provided in all the right arenas is crucial.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2003. 60 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 284
nutrient leaching, agricultural pollution, C Water Framework Directive, water quality, legislation, övergödning, lantbruk
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-4712 (URN)91-7373-788-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2003-12-12, K3, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Linköpings universitet, Norrköping, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2003-12-18 Created: 2003-12-18 Last updated: 2014-09-01Bibliographically approved

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Bratt, Anna-Lena
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