In the agricultural Altai Krai in Russian Siberia, soil degradation problems are prevalent. Agronomists recommend "reduced tillage systems," especially no-till, as a sustainable way to cultivate land that is threatened by soil degradation. In the Altai Krai, less is known about the technologies in practice. In this paper, we provide information on plant cultivation technologies used in the Altai Krai and on selected factors preventing farm managers in this region from adopting no-till technology based on our own quantitative survey conducted across 107 farms in 2015 and 2016. The results of the quantitative survey show that farm managers have high uncertainty regarding the use of no-till technology including its economics. To close this gap, we provide systematic analysis of factors influencing the economy of the plant production systems by using a farm optimization model (linear programming) for a real farm, together with expert estimations. The farm-specific results of the optimization model show that under optimal management and climatic conditions, the expert Modern Canadian no-till technology outperforms the farm min-till technology, but this is not the case for suboptimal conditions with lower yields.
The Swedish producer responsibility ordinance mandates producers to collect and recycle packaging materials. This paper investigates the main determinants of collection rates of household plastic packaging waste in Swedish municipalities. This is done by the use of a regression analysis based on cross-sectional data for 252 Swedish municipalities. The results suggest that local policies, geographic/demographic variables, socio-economic factors and environmental preferences all help explain inter-municipality collection rates. For instance, the collection rate appears to be positively affected by increases in the unemployment rate, the share of private houses, and the presence of immigrants (unless newly arrived) in the municipality. The impacts of distance to recycling industry, urbanization rate and population density on collection outcomes turn out, though, to be both statistically and economically insignificant. A reasonable explanation for this is that the monetary compensation from the material companies to the collection entrepreneurs vary depending on region and is typically higher in high-cost regions. This implies that the plastic packaging collection in Sweden may be cost ineffective. Finally, the analysis also shows that municipalities that employ weight-based waste management fees generally experience higher collection rates than those municipalities in which flat and/or volume-based fees are used.