objective to halt
• Why a decline? – reduced winter food resources
• Intensification leads large-scale homogenisation
in the landscape
• Herbicides lead to few weeds surviving to harvest
• High capacity machinery leads to timely harvest
and the swift removal of residues and stubble
• Increased winter sown cropping leads to less over
• How would farmers react, in the long term, to change?
• How does the cropping, environmental emissions and
• What would make a particular management action appealing to
• For example, how will farmers respond to increasing prices of
biofuel crops. What will the unintended consequences be?
• Linear Programming, such as Silsoe whole-FARM Model
(SFARMMOD), is well established at predicting the
optimizing behavioural response of farmers in response to
choice and change in prices, technology and regulations.
• Recently extensions include environmental pollution, such
as nitrate leaching as multiple objectives to be constrained
• We extend this modelling approach to predict the impact
of biodiversity policy on farmers and the consequences of
farming on biodiversity
Soils and Weather
Crop and livestock
Silsoe Whole Farm
Linear programme, important
features timeliness penalties,
workability per task,
Three main types of model extension are envisaged
1) Quantified measures of biodiversity, which could
include four mammal species, indicator bird species,
and weed species.
2) Field boundary features and the effects of spatial
geometry. These are habitats that support
3) Incorporate sets of criteria to explain and predict the
decision behaviour of a population of land managers
• A wide varied of detailed ecological models
• Habitat association models of birds
• Difference equation and Markov chain models of weed
• Game theory models of bird populations and winter feed
• Development of a single metric ‘biodiversity units’?
• Fitting these to an LP requires meta-modelling to enable each
to be quantified for the set of all farm plans
• The length and depth of field boundary per cropped
hectare effects field shape which effects the
efficiency of field work
• A model of field work efficiency is being
developed to quantify the effects and determine
significant non-linear behaviour
• At a larger scale the increase of contract farming
operations can mean entire farms are in a single crop
in a given year
Can we maintain
linearity and model the
effects of promoting an
increase in hedges and
probable reduction in
• Profit maximising (long-term net farm profit) accounts well for
the aggregate production behaviour of farmers, but what about
• At farm level decision making behaviour may differ due
personal values, views on future prices, risk, and the
• Conservation behaviour may involve the understanding of
objectives such as ‘stewardship of the land’, and ‘professional
• Aggregate behaviour can be built up from a distribution of
farmer values. Is this a better decision model?
• Multiple Objective Decision Making (MODM) can be
used. It is based on Multiple Attribute Value Theory
• The two common implementations are
• Goal Programming (GP): Objectives are satisfied
by obtaining a series of hierarchical goals
• Multiple Objective Programming (MOP):
Objectives are involved in a weighted trade-off
• Which is better …both or ANP or Stated Choice or…?
• Farmers on lighter and dryer soils can increase the
amount of stubble available more readily than those
on heavier wetter soils.
• However, in doing so the risks rise sharply
• Promoting spring crops does not in itself provide
• Raise farm incomes do to higher prices tends to
reduce winter stubble availability because the
benefits of timeliness progressively outweigh
• Can we maintain linearity and its high utility
• Can we identify the ‘missing’ attributes? Do they
exist? Would we be better quantifying the farmers
true full economic costs?
• Can we quantify and model them for all farm plans?
• Can we elicit preferences and value functions?
• Can we generalise for all farmers for some farmers?
• Can readily evaluate future, as yet unspecified
choices by estimating their attributes only?