« Previous | of | Next »

Advisory services and farm-level sustainability profiles: an exploration in nine European countries

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Herrera, Beatriz (main author), Gerster-Bentaya, Maria (author), Tzouramani, Irene (author), Knierim, Andrea (author), University of Hohenheim Agricultural Economics Research Institute Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research
Journal article
Publication Date:
Germany: Taylor & Francis
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois
Subject Term:
advisory services, economics, environment, Europe, farm managers, farm workers, farms, pesticides, sustainability, water, Finland (Europe), France (Europe), Germany (Europe), Greece (Europe), Hungary (Europe), Ireland (Europe), Netherlands (Europe), Poland (Europe), Spain (Europe)
22 pages., Via online journal., Purpose: This study explores the use of advisory services by farm managers and its linkages with the economic, environmental and social performance of farms. Design/methodology/approach: Using cluster analysis we determined groups of farms according to their sustainability performance and explored the correlations between contacts with advisory services and a set of farm-level sustainability indicators. Findings: There exist significant differences in the number of farmers’ contacts with advisory services across countries, type of farms, farmers’ degree of agricultural education, utilized agricultural area, legal type of farm ownership and economic size of the farms. We identified three groups of farms that have different sustainability performance, are different in farm characteristics and relate differently to advisory services. The number of contacts with advisory services is positively related to the adoption of innovations, the number of information sources utilized and the adoption of farm risk management measures. We find no clear linear relationship between advisory services and environmental sustainability. Theoretical implications: This study derives hypotheses to analyze causalities between indicators of farm-level sustainability and advisory services. Practical implications: Results suggest the importance of taking into account the heterogeneity of farming systems for the design, targeting and evaluation of advisory services. In addition, results confirm the importance of selection of indicators that can be used in multiple sites. Originality/value: We used a harmonized indicator of advisory services and a harmonized set of farm-level sustainability indicators in nine different EU countries that could be used to evaluate the role of advisory services in the achievement of multiple objectives in different groups of farms in multiple sites.