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The Arable Crops Sector

image of The Arable Crops Sector

This study takes an in-depth look at the arable crops sector in OECD countries and draws some conclusions about the impacts of agricultural support policies, trade liberalisation, agri-environmental payments, and agri-ennvironmental regulations. It contains economic and structural data, agri-environmental indicators for the arable crops sector, and analysis of the policy measures supporting arable crops farming and addressing environmental issues both at the aggregate country level and regional levels. This is the third in a series of in-depth studies being undertaken by the OECD to investigate the linkages between agriculture, trade and the environment. The first study on the pig sector was published in 2003, and the second study on the dairy sector was published in 2004.

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Environmental Effects of Agricultural Support Policies for Arable Crops

The environmental effects of agricultural production in developed countries have already been extensively documented in the literature.1 In many areas, the environmental consequences discussed in the previous chapter are the result of several decades of accumulation and environmental loadings may have been high for some time before public concern was raised.2 In other cases, degradation of marginal land and of landscape, retreat of indigenous species from particular areas, or serious groundwater pollution have occurred relatively recently and with alarming rapidity. In the last 15-20 years, awareness of the full extent of these problems has increased throughout the OECD area. Governments are now responding to public pressure – and in some cases taking the lead – in seeking ways of containing or reversing these trends...

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