Document Detail

Benchmarking farmer performance as an incentive for sustainable farming: environmental impacts of pesticides.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15151309     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Pesticide use in The Netherlands is very high, and pesticides are found across all environmental compartments. Among individual farmers, though, there is wide variation in both pesticide use and the potential environmental impact of that use, providing policy leverage for environmental protection. This paper reports on a benchmarking tool with which farmers can compare their environmental and economic performance with that of other farmers, thereby serving as an incentive for them to adopt more sustainable methods of food production methods. The tool is also designed to provide farmers with a more detailed picture of the environmental impacts of their methods of pest management. It is interactive and available on the internet: The present version has been developed specifically for arable farmers, but it is to be extended to encompass other agricultural sectors, in particular horticulture (bulb flowers, stem fruits), as well as various other aspects of sustainability (nutrient inputs, 'on-farm' biodiversity, etc.). The benchmarking methodology was tested on a pilot group of 20 arable farmers, whose general response was positive. They proved to be more interested in comparative performance in terms of economic rather than environmental indicators. In their judgment the benchmarking tool can serve a useful purpose in steering them towards more sustainable forms of agricultural production. The benchmarking results can also be used by other actors in the agroproduction chain, such as food retailers and the food industry.
S Kragten; G R De Snoo
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Communications in agricultural and applied biological sciences     Volume:  68     ISSN:  1379-1176     ISO Abbreviation:  Commun. Agric. Appl. Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  2003  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-05-20     Completed Date:  2004-09-01     Revised Date:  2006-12-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101200320     Medline TA:  Commun Agric Appl Biol Sci     Country:  Belgium    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  727-37     Citation Subset:  IM    
Leiden University, Centre of Environmental Science (CML), P.O. Box 9518, 2300 RA, Leiden, The Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Agriculture / economics,  methods*,  standards
Benchmarking / methods*
Environmental Monitoring
Environmental Pollution / prevention & control*
Pesticides / adverse effects*
Pilot Projects
Reg. No./Substance:

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