Owner or tenant: Who adopts better soil conservation practices? | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
September 2015
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Land tenure security is widely considered to be a fundamental factor in motivating farmers to adopt sustainable land management practices. This study aims to establish whether it is true that owner-operators adopt more effective soil conservation measures than tenant-operators, and whether well-designed agro-environmental instruments can provide sufficiently strong motivation to compensate for the differences between these two groups. An analysis of the level of adoption of four types of erosion control measures on 263 blocks of arable land endangered by water erosion in the Czech Republic has proved that all measures were adopted by owners significantly more frequently than by tenants. Compared to tenants, owners applied wide-row crops in crop rotation schemes 2.4 times less frequently in the last 5 years, while they applied soil-improving crops 1.9 times more frequently. Contour farming was adopted 1.8 times more often by owners, and the slope length in production blocks farmed by owners was on an average 2.4 times shorter than in blocks farmed by tenants. However, the study has also shown that, in cases where conservation measures are supported by incentives based on Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAEC) standards cross compliance, the differences in the approach to soil conservation between owners and tenants were minimized or eliminated, due to the adoption of responsible practices by tenants. The study has proved that a well-designed system of environmentally determined subsidies can compensate otherwise substantial differences in the attitude of owners and tenants towards soil conservation.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Sklenicka, Petr
Molnarova, Kristina Janeckova
Salek, Miroslav
Simova, Petra
Vlasak, Josef
Sekac, Pavel
Janovska, Vratislava


Land Use Policy is an international and interdisciplinary journal concerned with the social, economic, political, legal, physical and planning aspects of urban and rural land use. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information from the diverse range of disciplines and interest groups which must be combined to formulate effective land use policies.

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