Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 73–79 | Cite as

Land tenure and agricultural management: Soil conservation on rented and owned fields in southwest British Columbia

Article

Abstract

According to literature,insecure land tenure biases against soilconservation on farmland. However, there islittle evidence to test whether farmers need toown their land to conserve it, or if long-termleases are adequate. One way to infer whetheror not different land tenure arrangementspromote long-term management is throughanalyzing the types of crops planted on fieldswith different land tenure arrangements.Perennials, forage legumes, grasslands, andgrain are all important parts of sustainablecrop rotation in southwest British Columbia butprovide little cash return in the year they areplanted. Annual crops provide a high cashreturn but create soil conservation problems ifthey are planted too often. A comparison offields with different land tenures showed thatfarmers who own their land plant moreperennials, grain, and forage legumes thanfarmers who rent fields. Few differences wereobserved on fields with different leaselengths. This study leads to three overallconclusions. First, although results confirmthe literature, and insecure land tenure is areal obstacle to long-term soil conservation,it is not possible to assume that long-termleases will substitute for land ownership.Second, it is possible to use relativelyeasy-to-gather data on crop history to assessthe impact of tenure on farming. Third,intervening variables, in this case a programthat pays farmers to plant grasslands,over-rides the effect of insecure land tenureand creates incentives for owner-operators andtenant farmers alike to use crop managementthat protects soil fertility in the longterm.

British Columbia Canada Land tenure Public goods Soil conservation 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Artemis Strategies Group (2002). An Economic Profile of Agriculture in the Lower Mainland. Greater Vancouver Regional District: GVRD, Fraser Valley Regional District and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Fisheries.Google Scholar
  2. Bellett, G. (1995). “Farmers hoping to harvest crop of long-term leases.” Vancouver Sun April 4: B2.Google Scholar
  3. Bomke, A. and W. Temple (1990). Soil Organic Matter, Roberts Bank Lands. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Faculty of Agricultural Sciences.Google Scholar
  4. Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust (2000). Farmland and Wildlife; Grassland Set-Asides (Fact Sheet #2). Delta, Canada: DFWT.Google Scholar
  5. Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust (2001). Partners in Stewardship (promotional brochure). Delta, Canada: DFWT.Google Scholar
  6. Ervin, D. (1982). “Soil erosion control on owner-operated and rented cropland.” Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 37: 285-288.Google Scholar
  7. Gar-on Yeh, A. and X. Li (1999). “Economic development and agricultural land loss in the Pearl River Delta, China.” Habitat International 23(3):373-390.Google Scholar
  8. Gillis, M., D. Perkins, M. Roemer, and D. Snodgrass (1992). Economics of Development. New York: W. W. Norton and Company.Google Scholar
  9. Government of Canada (1995). An Economic Overview of Farm Incomes by Farm Types. Ottawa.Google Scholar
  10. Hu, W. (1997). “Household land reform in China.” Land Use Policy 14: 175-186.Google Scholar
  11. Kabaluk, J. and R. Vernon (1999). The Effect of Crop Rotation on Tuber Flea Beetle Epitrix Tuberis Gentner Populations in Potato. Pacific Agricultural Research Centre, Agassiz, Canada: Agriculture and Agri-food Canada.Google Scholar
  12. Klohn Leonoff Ltd. (1992). Delta Agriculture Study. Delta, Canada: Municipality of Delta.Google Scholar
  13. Lee, L. (1980). “The impact of land ownership factors on soil conservation.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 62: 1070-1076.Google Scholar
  14. Lumley, S. (1997). “The environment and ethics of discounting: An empirical analysis.” Ecological Economics 20: 71-82.Google Scholar
  15. Nowak, P. and P. Korsching (1983). “Factors affecting adaptation and maintenance of BMP's.” In G. Bailey and F. Schaller (eds.), Agricultural Management and Water Quality. Ames: Iowa State University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Panayotou, T. (1993). Green Markets. San Francisco: International Centre for Economic Growth, The Harvard Institute for International Development, and The Institute for Contemporary Studies Press.Google Scholar
  17. Praneetvatakul, S., P. Janekarnkij, C. Potchanasin, and K. Prayoonwong (2001). “Assessing the sustainability of agriculture: A case of Mae Chaem Catchment, northern Thailand.” Environment International 27: 103-109.Google Scholar
  18. Purves, W.,G. Orians, and H. Heller (1992). Life: The Science of Biology. Salt Lake City: W.H. Freeman and Company.Google Scholar
  19. Schertz, L. and G. Wunderlich. (1981). “The structure of farming and landownership in the future: Implications for soil conservation.” In H. Halcrow, E. Heady, and M. Cotner (eds.), Soil Conservation Policies, Institutions, and Incentives.Google Scholar
  20. Ankeny, Iowa: North Central Research Committee III, Natural Resource Use and Environmental Policy by the Soil Conservation Society of America.Google Scholar
  21. Scholte, K. (1992). “Effect of crop rotation on the incidence of soil-borne fungal diseases of potato.” Netherlands Journal of Plant Pathology Supplement 2: 93-102.Google Scholar
  22. Umaerus, V. (1992). “Crop rotation in relation to crop protection.” Netherlands Journal of Plant Pathology Supplement 2: 241-249.Google Scholar
  23. Walters, B., A. Cadelina, A. Cardanoc, and E. Visitacion (1999). “Community history and rural development: Why some farmers participate more readily than others.” Agricultural Systems 59: 193-214.Google Scholar
  24. Wilson, B. (1990). Farming the System. Saskatoon, Canada: Western Producer Prairie Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leeds Institute for Environmental Science and Management, School of the EnvironmentUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

Personalised recommendations