On the impacts and profitability of farmland consolidation

Juhana Hiironen

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph

    Abstract

    Northern location, cold weather and sparse population put permanent restrictions on the competitiveness of the Finnish agriculture. At the same time the fragmented property division resulting from land divisions and settlement has had a decreasing impact on the profitability of agriculture. Although the number of farms has fallen and the average size of the farms has increased during the past decades the benefits arising from the increase in size have not been realized due to the continually growing fragmentation. The goal of the study was to assess the impacts of farmland consolidation in agriculture and rural areas. Calculation methods based on production cost estimates for evaluating the farm-economic impacts of the changes taking place in the farmland layout were formed in the study. In addition, the environmental, traffic and other impacts of farmland consolidation were assessed in the study. Finally, the economic profitability of farmland consolidation was assessed. The outcome showed that property division can be outstandingly improved by farmland consolidation. The number of fields and distance to the homestead in the division area will halve, on the average, and the field size will double. These changes will increase the income of the farms by some 1.500 euros per hectare. As the farmland consolidation production amounts to appr. 10.000 hectares per year, the annual profit impacts would be some 15.000.000 euros. Farmland consolidation has also other impacts. The most significant of these concern the traffic, climate, water systems, landscape, and diversity of nature. Traveling between the homestead and parcels of field will decrease, which improves the safety and flow of traffic in the neighborhood of the division area. The lessened need to travel and quicker field work also mean lesser climate emissions. Drainages made in connection with the consolidation cause nutrient washout in the fields, change the landscape and natural diversity. As the process interferes with people's personal sovereignty, social impacts are also to follow. In addition, the increase of the viability of the farms will have economic impacts on the area, as well. As the outcome of the impact assessment it can be noted that farmland consolidation meets the goals set by the legislator by improving the rural living conditions and promoting the usage of the real estates. Since farmland consolidation is a profitable investment according to the observations made in this study, the agricultural rationalization actions should be concentrated on correcting the basic defects in the rural areas and not on handling the consequences caused by them year after year.
    Translated title of the contributionOn the impacts and profitability of farmland consolidation
    Original languageFinnish
    QualificationDoctor's degree
    Awarding Institution
    • Aalto University
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Vitikainen, Arvo, Supervising Professor
    • Vitikainen, Arvo, Thesis Advisor
    Publisher
    Print ISBNs978-952-60-4521-4
    Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-4522-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

    Keywords

    • farmland consolidation
    • land consolidation
    • cost-benefit analysis
    • property structure

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