ENVIRONMENTAL ACCOUNTING IN AGRICULTURE: NUTRIENT ACCOUNTING AND OTHER ASPECTS
2002, 3 (4) p. 333-342
While traditional accounting focuses on accounting for capital assets, costs, yields valued and sold in the market, environmental accounting intends to do the same with non-marketed capital assets, costs and yields, that is, externalities. The farm level nutrient balances are based on an input-output comparison, in which the nutrients entering the farm within inputs are compared to nutrients leaving the farm within the sold products. The method considers the amounts of nutrients entering the farm but not leaving it with the products to be wastes polluting the environment. The weakness of this approach is the handling of stock changes. In a farming year high amounts of nutrients contained in unsold products are not wastes, nor are they stored in the soil, but are stored in the stocks. To handle this problem the concepts of external nutrient balance and internal nutrient balance are introduced, and are tested in case studies of two Hungarian mixed farms.