EU-wide implementation of endogenous crop yield adjustments in IFM-CAP model


Date: 2018-Present

Funding source: European Commission – Joint Research Centre

Project title: EU-wide implementation of endogenous crop yield adjustments in IFM-CAP (Individual Farm Model for the Common Agricultural Policy) model

Project summary

In the current prototype, farm-level crop yields are derived from FADN data on production quantities and area. Their corresponding input use by input category is estimated through HPD method using farm level data on input costs. Only one intensity level is defined for each crop and individual farm. This implies that the only model adjustment under policy and price changes is the allocation of land among crops. The assumption of constant production intensities is, nevertheless, unrealistic in light of the constantly changing farm environment. In fact, many external factors such as agro-climatic conditions, market signals and agricultural and environmental policies strongly influence farm management (intensification vs. extensification), which subsequently affect crop yields and environmental externalities. Therefore, including yield responses to input use will allow for simulating the switching between management practices, and will provide a more complete assessment of agri-environmental policies and climate change scenarios, and a better understanding of the relations between agricultural production and sustainability.

The feasibility study aimed at developing the methodology for incorporating the endogenous yield adjustments in IFM-CAP was done within the project “Improvement and extension of IFM-CAP (Individual farm Model for the Common Agricultural Policy) model: LOT1 endogenous crop yield adjustments”. The proposed methodology was tested on selected NUTS2 regions. More specifically, the feasibility project used a mechanistic crop model, the EU-Rotate_N model (Rahn et al., 2010), to create endogenous yield response functions to organic and mineral N fertilizer for the main crops simulated in IFM-CAP, and for three selected NUTS-2 regions (East-Flanders, Calabria and Andalusia), taking into account changes in weather patterns as well as interactions between water, fertilizer and soil characteristics. The EU-Rotate_N model was used to simulate yield responses to different levels of mineral and organic fertilizers at HSMU (Homogenous soil mapping units) level. Then, based on HSMU level simulations, statistical regression was conducted to derive yield response functions at NUTS-2 level. The following crop activities were considered in the feasibility study: soft wheat, barley, maize, rape, potatoes, sugar beet and grassland. The overall objective of the project is to extend the application of the methodology for endogenous yield adjustments developed within the feasibility project “Improvement and extension of IFM-CAP (Individual farm Model for the Common Agricultural Policy) model: LOT1 endogenous crop yield adjustments” to the whole EU. The specific objectives that will be developed by the Consortium are:

1. Identification of data needs

2. Estimation of yield response functions

The project will result in providing yield response functions applicable to the whole EU that allow to endogenously model crop yield adjustments in IFM-CAP. A close collaboration between the Consortium and the IFM-CAP team will be established in order to take advantage of potential synergies and economies of scale resulting from the current development of the IFM-CAP model. The IFM-CAP team will provide to the Consortium all documentation and codes of IFM-CAP necessary for the execution of this study.