Current international agreements call for a significant reduction of nitrogen loads to the Baltic Sea. New measures to reduce nitrogen loads from the agricultural sector and an increased focus on cost efficiency will be needed to meet reduction targets. For policy design and evaluation it is important to understand the impact of weather on the efficiency of abatement measures. One new proposed policy is the use of crop permits based on weather normalized average leaching. This paper describes the use of the Spearman method to determine the efficiency of this policy with annual weather variation. The conclusion is that the values of the Spearman correlation coefficients in the study indicate that using average leaching for the individual crops on specific soil types for calculating crop permit requirements is an efficient policy. The Spearman method is demonstrated to be a simple useful tool for evaluating the impact of weather and is recommended for use in new studies.

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