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Agricultural economics

Umstätter Ch., Stark R., Schmid D., Schick M.

Effect of technological progress on working time in agriculture

This study addresses the influence of technological progress on the annual working hours of Swiss farmers in the years 2003 and 2012. The analysis of standard labour contracts for agricultural employees in Switzerland as well as a study of the literature revealed that the weekly working time for agricultural activities in most countries comes to…
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Agricultural economics

Lips A., Hoop D.

Standard labour unit: factors for para-agricultural activities

Factors for calculating standard labour units (SLUs) are derived from cost/ performance calculations for paraagricultural activities found in business- management literature. The SLU factors specify the necessary labour input per CHF 10 000 of volume of sales or turnover, with three activity categories being distinguished. Leisure time and educational activities on the farm are highly…
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Agricultural economics

Mann S., Erdin D.

Grades or labels? Beef prices and quality

The difference between quality grades and quality labels is that the latter are awarded on the basis of production processes, whilst the former are conferred on the strength of the actual production results. In the course of a de-ideologisation of society, it might be assumed that the price differences between quality grades would grow larger…
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Agricultural economics

Hoop D., Schwarz A., Lips M.

Full-Cost calculations for contract work

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…
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Agricultural economics

Götze F., Ferjani A.

Who buys organic foods in Switzerland?

Over the past years, the Swiss market for organic foods has grown considerably. However, little is known about the factors that motivate consumers to purchase organic food products. Within the framework of this analysis, data from Swiss households on the consumption of organic foods were analysed descriptively and econometrically. The evaluation of these household data…
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Agricultural economics

Gazzarin Ch., Kohler M., Flaten O.

Dairy farms: why does Switzerland spend more on production than Norway?

Dairy production in Switzerland and Norway has a lot in common: a high price- and wage environment, difficult natural conditions and similar farm structures. A cost comparison using data from the International Farm Comparison Network (IFCN) shows that Swiss farms have higher production costs, however. Analysis of the cost positions pinpoints the differences mainly in…
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Agricultural economics

Sandrini F., Durgiai B., Aubert S., Meier H.

How to optimize agricultural extension for a successful farm management?

Production costs play a key role in the competitiveness of agricultural enterprises. In the past, various actors in agricultural consultancy and education offered advanced training, but the number of participants remained below expectations. To investigate the reasons for this low participation and determine measures for improvement, the Opticost working group conducted semi-structured interviews with experts…
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Agricultural economics

Becker B., Zoss M., Lehmann H.-J.

Global food security – the consequences for Switzerland

Society is facing major challenges in ensuring global food security. Global trends since the food-price crisis in 2008 have revealed significant new risks. In 2012, the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture decided to identify, quantify and prioritise these risks and to derive potential areas of intervention. A literature review based on the analysis of key…
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Agricultural economics

Kopainsky B., Tribaldos T., Flury C., Pedercini M., Lehmann H.

Synergies and trade-offs with regard to ensuring food security and the efficient use of resources

In Switzerland, agriculture and the food industry are facing major challenges, as is society in general. The gap between desired and achievable levels of food production is growing wider, since ensuring sufficient food supplies for a growing population requires a constant increase in production while at the same time it is necessary to reduce the…
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Agricultural economics

Mack G., Flury C.

What is the impact of the new alpine pasturing subsidies?

Alpine pasturing subsidies are now being introduced under the 2014–2017 Agricultural Policy. These subsidies are meant to offer lower-altitude farms a further incentive to move their livestock to alpine pastures during the summer season. Calculations made with the agent-based model SWISSland show that the alpine pasturing subsidies in combination with the previous summer pasturing subsidies…
Agricultural economics

Lauber S., Furrer B.

Infrastructure for alpine summer farming: historical witnesses and spatial planning

Traditional buildings are an important part of the cultural landscape in alpine pasturing areas, serving as historico-cultural witnesses. They are, however, under pressure from structural change in agriculture and often require renovation. To assess their historico-cultural quality, a list of criteria has been drawn up which provides a basis for their agro-touristic development, i.e. for…
Agricultural economics

Blättler Th., Durgiai, B., Peguiron D., Raaflaub M., Winckler L.

Economic efficiency of seasonal used mountain pasture farms in Switzerland

In the project AlpWirtschaft the application VokoAlp was developed for compiling and analyzing data and for budgetary accounting. Cost-efficiency studies for 18 typical Swiss alpine summer farming units were done for different levels (staff, farmers). Large differences in income between different alpine pasture farms were found. The larger alpine farms were more profitable with higher…
Agricultural economics

Mann S., Ferjani A., Zimmermann A.

How secure is food security?

After the positive experience of expanding domestic production to the maximum in order to safeguard the food supply in the Second World War, greater importance has been attached to crop planning and storage for crisis situations in Switzerland than in neighbouring countries. The emergence of operational research meant that systems for the sole purpose of…
Agricultural economics

Möhring A., Mack G., Willersinn C.

Vegetable growing – Modelling heterogeneity and intensity

The agent-based agricultural sector model, SWISSland, simulates the processes of structural change and income trends in Swiss agriculture. The objective is to provide a portrayal of the behavioural patterns of farms that is as close to reality as possible. This article describes a method of best possible deduction from cost and work requirement coefficients, which…
Agricultural economics

Huber R., Iten A., Briner S.

Further development of the direct payments system and land-use change in mountain regions

The re-allocation of head based animal to area based direct payments in the context of the next agricultural policy reform (AP 14–17) should reduce the incentive keeping high stocking densities and thus reduce emissions from agricultural production. In this contribution, we quantify the impact of this re-allocation on land-use intensities in two different mountain regions…
Agricultural economics

Buttler A., Gavazov A., Peringer A., Siehoff S., Mariotte P., Wettstein J.-B., Chételat J., Huber R., Gillet F., Spiegelberger T.

Conservation of pasture woodlands in the Jura mountains: climate change and agro-political challenges

Wooded pastures of the Jura mountains are mainly used for fodder and timber production, but they provide also other goods and services such as biodiversity, leisure areas as well as attractive landscapes. These ecosystems are sensitive to climate and land-use changes. In this paper we report on a transplantation experiment and model simulations to show…
Agricultural economics

Huber R., Bebi P., Briner S., Bugmann H., Buttler A., Grêt-Regamey A., Hirschi C., Scholz R., Zimmermann W., Rigling A.

Climate change and sustainable land-use in mountain regions

The research project MOUNTLAND addresses the impacts of climate- and land-use changes on the provision of ecosystem services in mountain regions. The project applies an integrative approach by combining field experiments, ecological modeling, land-use modeling and the analysis societal and political decision making processes. The conceptual approach taken allows for the consideration of feedback effects…
Agricultural economics

Mann S., Zimmermann A., Möhring A., Ferjani A., Mack G., Lanz S.

What impact will the rearrangement of animal-related direct payments have?

Politically there is a broad consensus that the clearer orientation of the direct payment system towards the objectives of agricultural policy is a sensible aspect of the current reform process. However, there is disagreement as to whether the formerly animal-related contributions, as proposed in the communication on the agricultural policy 2014−2017 (AP 14−17, Federal Council…