Evaluation of legume-supported agriculture and policies at farm level

Moritz Reckling, Nicole Schläfke, Peter Zander, Jens-Martin Hecker and Johann Bachinger
Posted: 21.06.2021
Despite their environmental benefits the cultivation of legumes in Europe declined and is now less than 2% of the arable land in the EU. The reasons are on the one hand the high import of cheap soya for animal feeding and on the other hand the low profitability of legumes compared to other crops such as rape seed and wheat1. Reasons of the low profitability are the insufficient yield level, the lack of yield stability and the low producer price especially for grain legumes. But there are other, often neglected benefits of legumes such as the pre-crop effect, the N-self-sufficiency and the phytosanitary effects on succeeding crops. To capture these positive effects it is necessary from an economic perspective to look at the whole crop rotation instead of the single crop. Therefore, we examine here how legumes could be integrated into crop rotations and if at farm level the profitability could be maintained or increased. Different approaches were taken for pure arable and mixed farms. The focus is on conventional farms (rather than organic farms).
  • Nicole Schläfke, Peter Zander, Jens-Martin Hecker and Johann Bachinger
  • 2014
  • Despite their environmental benefits the cultivation of legumes in Europe declined and is now less than 2% of the arable land in the EU. The reasons are on the one hand the high import of cheap soya for animal feeding and on the other hand the low profitability of legumes compared to other crops such as rape seed and wheat1. Reasons of the low profitability are the insufficient yield level, the lack of yield stability and the low producer price especially for grain legumes. But there are other, often neglected benefits of legumes such as the pre-crop effect, the N-self-sufficiency and the phytosanitary effects on succeeding crops. To capture these positive effects it is necessary from an economic perspective to look at the whole crop rotation instead of the single crop. Therefore, we examine here how legumes could be integrated into crop rotations and if at farm level the profitability could be maintained or increased. Different approaches were taken for pure arable and mixed farms. The focus is on conventional farms (rather than organic farms).

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    Nicole Schläfke et al.
    Evaluation of legume-supported agriculture and policies at farm level
  • 2014. Evaluation of legume-supported agriculture and policies at farm level. Legume Hub. https://www.legumehub.eu

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Authors: Moritz Reckling, Nicole Schläfke, Peter Zander, Jens-Martin Hecker and Johann Bachinger
Acknowledgement: Legume Futures has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant No. 245216.

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