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Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1103; doi:10.3390/su8111103

Profitability of Management Systems on German Fenlands

1
Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy, Max-Eyth-Allee 100, 14469 Potsdam, Germany
2
Chair Utilization Strategies for Bioresources, Faculty of Life Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Philippstraße 13, 10115 Berlin, Germany
3
Division of Agricultural Policy, Faculty of Life Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Philippstraße 13, 10115 Berlin, Germany
4
Farm Management Group, Faculty of Life Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Philippstraße 13, 10115 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Iain Gordon
Received: 2 August 2016 / Revised: 17 October 2016 / Accepted: 22 October 2016 / Published: 29 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [780 KB, uploaded 29 October 2016]   |  

Abstract

Fens are organic sites that require drainage for agricultural use. Lowering the groundwater level leads to trade-offs between economic benefits and environmental impacts (i.e., CO2 and nutrient emissions). To identify management options that are both environmentally and economically sustainable, a propaedeutic systematic analysis of the costs, income and profit of different land use and management systems on fenlands is necessary. This study provides an overview of the profitability, labor demand and comparative advantages of feasible management systems on German fenlands. Twenty management practices in four land use systems are analyzed. The results indicate that most management systems are profitable only with subsidies and payments for ecosystem services. In addition to sales revenue, these payments are indispensable to promote peat-saving agricultural practices on fenlands. Regarding the labor aspect, intensive management systems caused an increase in working hours per hectare, which may positively affect employment in rural areas. The calculations obtained in this study can be used as a basis for estimations of greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation costs when management systems are associated with GHG emission values. View Full-Text
Keywords: organic soils; peatland; cost-efficiency; climate change; land use; farm management; milk; beef; biogas; combustion organic soils; peatland; cost-efficiency; climate change; land use; farm management; milk; beef; biogas; combustion
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rebhann, M.; Karatay, Y.N.; Filler, G.; Prochnow, A. Profitability of Management Systems on German Fenlands. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1103.

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