Exploring farmers’ preferences for implementing agrienvironmental schemes – a cross country comparison of schemes as incentives for nutrient abatement in Baltic Sea catchments

Czajkowski, M.1, Hasler, B.2, Elofsson, K.3, Hansen, L. B2., Helin, J4., Häggmark, T.3, Konrad, M.2,  Nielsen, H. Ø.2, Niskanen, O.4, Noman, T.5, Pedersen, A. B.2, Petersen, K.5, Zagorska, K.1


1 University of Warsaw, Poland

2 Aarhus University, Denmark

3 Swedish Agricultural University (SLU), Sweden

4 LUKE, Finland

5 SEIT, Estonia


We use data from a stated preference survey administered to farmers in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Poland and Sweden to investigate their preferences for adopting agricultural practices aimed at reducing nutrient leaching. In particular, we consider set asides, catch crops and reduced fertilization contracts that also vary with respect to the area enrolled in a contract, its length, possibility of premature termination, availability of professional advice and subsidy levels. We find which contracts are preferred and we are able to estimate minimum willingness to accept levels for their adoption. These results vary substantially between countries. Surprisingly, we also find that farmers prefer shorter contracts and contracts that require enrolling lower areas of land. Overall, our results may be used together with the estimated efficiency of the measures to design optimal country-specific nutrient reduction policies.