The New Zealand (NZ) dairy industry faces the challenge of increasing productivity and dealing with public concerns over nutrient pollution. The effective policy needs to address regional differences in productivity and fertilizer use. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how spatial effects influence the relationship between dairy yields and intensive farming practices across regions in NZ.
This paper employs spatial panel data models to establish whether unobserved spatial effects exist in the relationship between dairy yields and nutrient inputs regionally and nationally using 2002, 2007 and 2012 data from Statistics NZ and DairyNZ.
The results show positive spatial spillovers for most intensive inputs. The high level of effluent use and estimated negative yield response to nitrogen suggests that an opportunity exists for greater use of effluent as a substitute for nitrogenous fertilizer. Substitution has the potential to reduce dependence on fertilizer and contribute to a reduction in the nutrient pollution.
This paper is the first empirical application of spatial econometric methods to examine the spatial relevance of dairy yields and intensive farming in NZ. In particular, the spatial panel data model accounts for cross-sectional dependence and controls for heterogeneity. The results contribute to an understanding of how farmers can improve their management of intensive inputs and contribute to the formation of regional environmental policy that recognizes regional heterogeneity.
Yang, W. and Sharp, B. (2019), "Spatial analysis of dairy yields response to intensive farming in New Zealand", China Agricultural Economic Review, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 79-99. https://doi.org/10.1108/CAER-03-2016-0044Download as .RIS
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