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.
Employment in the agricultural sector is declining in many European countries, especially in livestock farming. Direct payments can counter this trend and lead to the employment of more – especially female – family members on the farm.
Despite the current challenges of e.g. the war in Ukraine and climate change, the Swiss food sector is relatively resilient. This is the conclusion reached by Agroscope’s report on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office for National Economic Supply.
The pandemic has influenced not only our everyday life but also our behaviour. Agroscope looked at which population groups and behaviours experienced or underwent particularly significant changes, and what this means for our health.