Assessment of ecological and economic efficiency of agricultural lands preservation

  • Received February 5, 2018;
    Accepted April 4, 2018;
    Published April 16, 2018
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  • Article Info
    Volume 9 2018, Issue #1, pp. 47-56
  • Cited by
    10 articles

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The article substantiates the necessity to define and generalize the criteria for assessing the ecological and economic efficiency of using agricultural lands. Due to the transition of the agro-industrial complex to private forms of management, the problems of forming a strategy of rational, ecologically safe and sustainable development of land use in Ukrainian agriculture became of paramount importance. Therefore, systematic studies on the assessment of the ecological and economic efficiency of the agricultural land use need to be conducted. Harmonization of ecological and economic interests is of particular importance in the context of ensuring the conservation, resource-saving and reproductive nature of the agricultural land exploitation.
A scientific study found that in Ukraine, the agrarian sector of the economy provides about 47% of GDP, but the question arises: At what price are these achievements given to us? Agricultural land development exceeds environmentally sound standards. Excessive cultivation of the territory leads to an annual increase of eroded lands by 80-90 thousand hectares. Land use is recognized as environmentally unstable, and there is a steady tendency to deteriorate the quality of soil. Each second hectare of cultivated land is erosion-hazardous, that is, these soils are subject to water and wind erosion. In this regard, it is recommended to introduce the world-wide experience of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA), which provides an opportunity to provide food security to the country and to limit the negative impact of the environment, based on the introduction of organic production.
It is proved that regardless of the size of farms and forms of management using resource-saving no-till technologies, enterprises received low cost of grown products, providing profitable activities. Ecological compatibility of the technology provides energy savings of at least 30% in comparison with traditional farming systems, the accumulation of not less than 30-40% of plant residues on the soil surface after harvesting of the predecessor, provides protection of the soil from wind and water erosion by minimizing the amount and depth of technological operations.
It is confirmed that the most widespread evaluation of the agricultural lands use is the evaluation of the results of their use through volumes of gross and commodity products, income, and production profitability. The criteria for the environmental effectiveness of agricultural land use should be: the degree of functional use of land resources, ecological stability, the level of anthropogenic loading, the degree of erosional feature of land, etc.
According to the study results, it was established that one of the main areas of agriculture is the application of minimal tillage in crop rotation, i.e. resource-saving no-till technology.
The economic feasibility of technologies based on the use of different soil tillage systems has been confirmed.

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    • Fig. 1. Dynamics of organic fertilizers application in agriculture of Ukraine
    • Table 1. Applying mineral fertilizers in agriculture of Ukraine
    • Table 2. Dynamics of the balance of nutrient elements in agriculture in Ukraine
    • Table 3. Dynamics of humus content in soils of Ukraine for the last 133 years
    • Table 4. Rating of districts of the Cherkasy region on the content of humus
    • Table 5. Recommended amounts of green manure crop in Cherkasy region, the hectares
    • Table 6. Productivity and cost of production of agricultural crops at the enterprises of Uman district of Cherkasy region for 2013-2016