Based on eight farms and 30 observations of farm enterprises, the revenues for seven categories of contract employment in the outdoor-work sector such as Plant Production, Transport/Logistics and Winter Road Clearance are compared to the full costs in order to determine their cost-efficiency. Except for bale-pressing, labour utilisation (i.e. the resultant hourly wage) significantly exceeding the opportunity costs of CHF 28 per hour can be achieved for all farm enterprises, which in general indicates good cost-efficiency. The most important influencing factors here are full utilisation of machinery and the proportion of total working time accounted for by set-up and travel times. With the exception of combineharvesting a comparable cost structure can be identified, with 40 per cent corresponding to the fixed costs of the machines and 30 per cent each corresponding to labour and to other variable costs. Although just under half of the machines studied are used for contract work or hired out, they are only used to 83 per cent capacity compared to the reference values of the Machine Costs report.
Policies to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions are more effective and more efficient if they are set at the regional level and not at the level of individual farms. This can help achieve climate targets.
Global food availability is expected to remain stable in the medium term. Food security challenges in Switzerland include the decline in agricultural land area per capita, higher incidence of extreme weather events and increased pressure from pests.
Different cultural backgrounds lead to different uptake of biodiversity agri-environmental schemes at the inner-Swiss French-German language border. Economic policy incentives could mitigate culture-driven behavioral differences.