The relationship between agricultural land parcel size and cultivation costs

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A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
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Land Use Policy, Volume 131
Land fragmentation in agriculture is acknowledged as a problem that causes additional costs in cultivation and lowers productivity. Land consolidation programmes seek to alleviate the problem by influencing land ownership, with the aim to reduce travel distances and increase parcel sizes by connecting adjacent small land parcels. Decision making requires cost–benefit analysis of the costs of ownership changes compared to the potential benefits. Such analysis is based on before and after assessment, where the benefits of a larger parcel size and the costs caused by the distances travelled between land parcels and between parcels are the key determinants. This paper presents a method to analyse realized work efficiency at different parcels. The benefit from a larger parcel size appears to be greater than that reported in previous studies.
Funding Information: Agricultural land in Finland is divided into very many parcels for geographical and historical reasons, and the resulting land fragmentation causes productivity losses to farmers. The conducted study revised previous results regarding the relationship between parcel size and working efficiency. The results indicate that there has been some development in working efficiency in the course of time, and technical benefits arising from a large parcel size have slightly grown. However, marginal benefits become increasingly negligible once the parcel size exceeds 20 ha. This result was supported by the tendency of farmers of dividing parcels in practice. The statistical analysis demonstrated that the probability of dividing a parcel between different crops is very low for smaller parcels, and that a parcel of size 27.8 ha has 50% probability of being divided. Publisher Copyright: © 2023 The Authors
Efficiency analysis, Land consolidation, Parcel size
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Valtiala, J, Niskanen, O, Torvinen, M, Riekkinen, K & Suokannas, A 2023, ' The relationship between agricultural land parcel size and cultivation costs ', Land Use Policy, vol. 131, 106728 .