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Background to IMP Land-Use Scenarios Report-60

Six scenarios consisting of changes in farm-gate prices (T1 to T6) have been applied to the ERAMMP Integrated Modelling Platform (IMP) to simulate impacts on land use change, biodiversity and ecosystem services (carbon, water quality and air quality).

The scenarios were based on discussions held between stakeholders in the Evidence and Scenario sub-group (Roundtable Wales and Brexit) and Welsh Government (WG) policy officials. These discussions took place in late 2020 before the arrangements for the UK leaving the EU were agreed, therefore are based on broad assumptions around the detail of the trade agreement with the EU as well as other third countries including Australia, New Zeland and USA.

Costs & Benefits

This report provides an overview of the land use implications of all these scenarios, but focuses on the T2 scenario, which represents an EU Trade Deal.

This T2 scenario is being used as the counterfactual scenario against which the costs and benefits of the land use implications of the proposed Sustainable Farming Scheme will be assessed in the Regulatory Impact Assessment for the proposed Agricultural Bill. This includes the estimated environmental outcomes of the EU Trade Deal scenario and, where the ERAMMP IMP has attached monetary valuations to these, the value of these outcomes to society. In the Cost Benefit Analysis, these monetary values will inform the overall estimated Net Present Value (NPV) of this business-as-usual counterfactual.

The IMP involves many assumptions and these need to be borne in mind when interpreting and using its outcomes. By necessity, all models are a simplification of the real situation, but can still provide very useful insights if applied for a specific purpose and with caution. The collaborative and iterative consortium-based approach to co-designing the IMP has meant that Welsh Government and IMP teams have clear, open channels of communication for asking questions. This ensures that the modelling represents government aspirations as well as possible and the limits of the approach are well understood.

Some Results

IMP outputs for the T2 scenario show that some simulated full-time farms (>1 FTE labour) come under economic pressure (7%) and are simulated to be unable to produce a sufficient Farm Business Income to be economically viable.

For these farm types, no options to transition to a more alternative profitable farm type are available and they are assumed to leave full-time agriculture.

A greater number of farms transition to dairying resulting in a 75% increase in the number of dairy farms. This is associated with large increases in the number of dairy cattle (73%) and reductions in sheep (-34%). A general intensification of grassland systems is simulated resulting from the farm type transitions, with a 66% increase in temporary grasslands and a 21% decrease in permanent grasslands.

Overall, these changes in agriculture and land use are simulated to lead to mixed, but predominantly negative, effects on biodiversity, increases in GHG emissions and deterioration in air and water quality.


More information on the ERAMMP Integrated Modelling Platform (IMP).


PDF icon ERAMMP Report-60 IMP Land Use Scenarios Final Report

PDF icon ERAMMP Rpt-60TA1 IMP Land Use Scenarios Slidepacks


How to cite these reports:

Harrison P.A., Dunford R., Beauchamp K., Cooper J.M., Cooper J., Dickie I., Fitch A., Gooday R., Hollaway M., Holman I., Jones L., Matthews R., Mondain-Monval T., Norris, D., Sandars D., Seaton F., Siriwardena G., Smart S., Thomas A., Trembath P., Vieno M., Williams A., Whittaker F., Bell, C. (2022). Environment and Rural Affairs Monitoring & Modelling Programme (ERAMMP). ERAMMP Report-60: ERAMMP Integrated Modelling Platform (IMP) Land Use Scenarios. Report to Welsh Government (Contract C210/2016/2017)(UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Projects 06297 & 06810)

Harrison P.A, Dunford R, Beauchamp K, Cooper J, Cooper J, Dickie I, Fitch A, Gooday R, Hollaway M, Holman I, Jones L, Matthews R, Mondain-Monval T, Norris, D., Sandars D, Seaton F, Siriwardena G, Smart S, Thomas A, Trembath P, Vieno M, Williams A, Whittaker F., Bell, C. (2022) Environment and Rural Affairs Monitoring & Modelling Programme (ERAMMP). Technical Annex-1 Report-60TA1: ERAMMP Integrated Modelling Platform Land Use Scenarios Slidepacks. Report to Welsh Government (Contract C210/2016/2017)(UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Projects 06297 & 06810)