The Institute of Agricultural- and Food Economics at ETH Zurich analyzes the economic state of Swiss Farms on a periodical basis. The study consists of a performance analysis, and the investigation of stress of competition under a hypothetical adjustment of prices to EU levels. The performance decreased slightly between 2000 and 2004, which was mainly due to declining prices for agricultural products. Especially the increased engagement in activities closely related to agriculture such as tourism, contract labor, direct marketing as well as leasing of buildings and machines prevented further declines in performance. Hypothetical stress in competition increased slightly, since the difference between Swiss and EU prices for farm products widened. Especially crop farms would come under pressure, as their market prices benefit to a larger degree from boarder protection. For lower performing diary farms in hilly and mountainous regions, the pressure is limited because of higher levels of federal direct payments. The study reveals big differences in the economic situation of particular farms even though production conditions are almost identical. Better performing farms have a higher productivity (for instance through the substitution of manual labor through assets in diary farming), and – especially in crop farming- leverage a higher utilization of production equipment.
Agrivoltaics combines energy generation and agricultural production on the same land. Although this system is eliciting increasing interest, its success depends on numerous factors and the most compatible crops have yet to be identified.
How do farmers experience social sustainability on their farms? As an Agroscope study shows, this depends on farmers’ identities and farm types.
Cheese stands out as one of the main Swiss agricultural trade offensive interests. Outside the EU, the USA are an important export destination. The CAPRI model allows to assess the impact of a free trade agreement for cheese between the USA and CH.