Among the numerous non-point sources of diffuse water pollution with nitrogen, agriculture is counted one of the main sources. The agricultural policies of the Agenda 2000 and a decoupling of direct payments for farmers from their production decisions are exemplarily evaluated as nitrogen reduction measures using the Regional Agricultural and Environmental Information System RAUMIS. The results show that until the target year 2010 the risk of diffuse pollution of water bodies with nitrogen is a regional problem in Germany. These problems are neither mitigated by the policies of Agenda 2000 nor by a decoupling of direct payments from production decisions of farmers. While total nitrogen surplus reduces considerably after a decoupling of direct payments due to decreases of land-use the nitrogen surplus on the remaining cultivated area increases resulting from structural changes. Granting the same amount of direct payments to farmers in both policy alternatives the agricultural sector income would be higher after a decoupling of direct payments opposed to the Agenda 2000 resulting from a more efficient allocation of inputs.

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