Agriculture and farming worldwide are responsible for numerous environmental threats, including degradation of land and water resource depletion. Underlining the dynamic interaction between bio-physical and socio-economic drivers is the key towards a more sustainable land and water management. With regard to a highly-developed agricultural area in Southern Italy, multi-regression models were developed to provide an ex-post interpretation of the observed inter-annual variability of cropped land. The main drivers related to Common Agricultural Policy support, product market prices, crop yield, and irrigation water availability were investigated. The adopted models revealed the different weights of each driver. The findings reported the role that direct payments played in supporting the extension of irrigated crops, such as processing tomato. Likewise, the models pointed out the decoupled payment scheme as the most important driver of change in the crop pattern over the last years.
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