The costs of coexistence on farms in Germany

Punt, Maarten J.; Venus, Thomas J.; Wesseler, Justus


In the European Union, freedom of choice between genetically modified (GM) and conventional or organic crops, for both producers and consumers, should be provided through coexistence measures. Coexistence measures at the farm level differ in costs and effectiveness and should not tip the balance for farmers in their cultivation decisions, and therefore it is important to measure these costs. In this article, we investigate the costs of different coexistence measures for farmers in Germany. Currently, GM crop cultivation is outlawed in Germany, but there was a short period from 2005-2008 when cultivation of Bt maize was allowed. We interviewed former Bt maize farmers and their neighbors concerning their experience with Bt maize cultivation and the costs of coexistence measures. The results show the clear differences in burden between the different measures. In addition, we show that there are important differences in farm characteristics and overall landscape configuration that influence the costs or burden of coexistence measures.