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Agricultural economics

von Felten S., Fischer M., Lauber S.

Alpine summer farming in Switzerland: surveys on the situation and choice of alpine summer farms

In parallel with agriculture in the lowlands, alpine summer farming is also currently in a state of change. Within the framework of the inter- and transdisciplinary research programme AlpFUTUR, three representative written surveys were carried out in which managers of alpine summer farms as well as of summer-pasturing and non-summer-pasturing home farms were asked for…
Agricultural economics

Gazzarin Ch., Piccand V.

Which cow for pasture-based production systems?: Economic evaluation

Which cow for pasture-based production systems?: Economic evaluation The objective of the study was to compare, within pasture-based seasonal-calving systems, the economic performance of different types of cows. A herd simulation based on the results of the project «Which cow for pasture-based production systems?» was undertaken. There were no clear advantages of one cow type…

Sample effect – how conclusive is a comparison with the previous year?

In 2009, the Farm Accountancy Data Network collected accountancy data for just under 3400 reference farms. Comparison with the previous year’s results is extremely important when analysing data, although the present study shows that percentage changes compared to the previous year can depend considerably on the particular composition of the sample. For example, in 2009,…
Agricultural economics

Barth L., Lanz S., Hofer C.

Promotion of grassland-based cattle farming through the 2014-2017 Swiss Agricultural Policy

The development of the direct payment system will include new contributions for ensuring the food supply. These contributions aim at achieving optimal use of natural production potential and shall thereby help to maintain the full production capacity of agriculture in Switzerland. Precondition for the payment of subsidies for ensuring the food supply on grassland will…
Agricultural economics

Baur I., Dobricki M., Lips M.

Attitudes to strategies of high-output and full-time grazing

Two focus group discussions were conducted with milk producers about their motives and attitudes to both “high output” and “full-time grazing” feeding strategies and analyzed through grounded theory qualitative method. The study was designed to determine the factors which guide farm managers in their choice of feeding strategy. Although the analysis gives an insight of…

Bestimmt der Erdölpreis die Preise landwirtschaftlicher Produkte?

Der Erdölpreis scheint bei einigen landwirtschaftlichen Produkten einen Einfluss auf den Preis zu haben. Dafür gibt es zum Teil gute Argumente: Pflanzenöle und deren Derivate können Erdölprodukte ersetzen. Aus Mais kann Ethanol produziert werden, welcher als Ersatz von Treibstoffen auf Erdölbasis dient. Im vorliegenden Beitrag wird der Zusammenhang zwischen den Weltmarktpreisen landwirtschaftlicher Produkte und dem…
Agricultural economics

Ferjani A., Zimmermann A., Reissig L.

Organic Agriculture: Why so few farms convert

Organic farming recorded significant growth in Switzerland, especially between 1990 and 2005, and won the support of both farmers and consumers. Despite this, organic farms are noticeably underrepresented in the arable farm regions; this situation is certainly due to the usually greater demands placed on farm conversion in these regions than in grassland. A survey…

Improving competitiveness in Swiss farming

As Swiss agriculture full product costs are considerably higher than those of neighbouring countries, the improvement of its competitiveness by cutting costs is very important. Three possible strategies are conceivable. Firstly, increasing the size of farms allows to achieve economies of scale, thus to reduce the cost per unit. Additional land is an important prerequisite…
Agricultural economics

Flury Ch., Meier B., Giuliani G.

Simulation of future farm size structures

In the Swiss agricultural sector, the development towards larger farms and consequently towards more economically favourable cost structures is relatively slow. A dynamic simulation model is used to investigate where an extrapolation of the present development could lead in future and what form alternative development paths could take. The simulations indicate that, compared to a…
Agricultural economics

Bravin E., Kilchenmann A.

International comparison in apple production

Within the ISAFRUIT project, important production-related (for example yield and grading results) and economic (working hours and producer prices) dimensions were compared between Switzerland and main apple growing EU countries. Producer prices and labor costs are higher in Switzerland than in European Union. Apple surfaces per farm are clearly smaller in Switzerland. Dependent on the…
Agricultural economics

Lanz S., Barth L., Hofer C., Vogel S.

Development of the Swiss Direct Payments System

In future, direct payments shall target consistently the public services provided by agriculture as requested by society. In its report of 6th May 2009, the Federal Council proposed a modification of the current system of direct payments. Measures without specific aims are to be replaced by targeted tools. Thus the effectiveness and efficiency of the…
Agricultural economics

Mack G., Zimmermann A., Moriz C.

Sustainability of concentrate use in dairy husbandry

Prices of animal feed play an important role for the use of concentrate and basic-ration feedstuffs in dairy husbandry. Calculations made with the SILAS model calculation system show that it is economically efficient to increase concentrate rations for dairy cows when feedstuff prices decrease. Sustainability analyses taking into account economic as well as social and…
Agricultural economics

Roque O., Miéville-Ott V.

The market for meat from the Herens breed in the Valais. Prospects for the organisation of the supply chain

Few market studies have been undertaken of Hérens cattle meat and its development potential. Our paper highlights a situation of high demand and insufficient supply. Nearly half the volume produced is used for home consumption by the farmers, or sold through direct sales, whilst our survey shows that consumer demand and willingness to pay are…
Agricultural economics

Nemecek Th., Gaillard G., de Baan L.

EUROCROP: Research strategy for European arable farming

EUROCROP was a concerted action to develop a research strategy for European arable farming. Research institutes and various stakeholders drew up the main research priorities for individual arable crops and for six transversal elements: “farming systems”, “farm economics”, “outlets and markets”, “quality of agricultural products”, “environmental impacts” and “socio-economic issues”. The social relevance and priority…
Agricultural economics

Meier B., Giuliani G., Flury C.

Land tranfers and development of farm structures until 2007

Economies of scale can significantly improve the competitiveness of the Swiss agricultural sector. In order to understand the development behind the farm size structure, the underlying sub-processes of land transfers are examined in-depth. Each year, between 4 % and 5 % of the total utilised agricultural area are transferred due to the closing down or…
Agricultural economics

Reissig L., Ferjani A., Zimmermann A.

Increasing phasing out of organic agriculture – with an upward trend

Since 2004, the number of organic farms has been declining steadily contrary to the positive trend in demand. Between 2005 and 2007, 263 or 4.1 percent of organic farms were lost. An analysis of data from the Federal Office for Agriculture’s Agricultural Policy Information System (AGIS) shows that 2.0 percent of the farms converted from…
Agricultural economics

Ammann H., Brecht I., Albisser Vögeli G.

Comparison of wood-fired heating systems

The use of wood fuel for heat generation has been increasing steadily in recent years. Wood-fired heating systems do not only make economic sense for woodland owners; more and more often non-woodland owners are having their heat supplied by wood-fired power stations. Three output categories of wood-fired system were compared: 20, 60 and 100 kilowatt…
Agricultural economics

Mencarelli Hofmann D.

Economically sustainable apple farming

Which factors and strategies are effective for economically sustainable apple farming? On this research question the Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil Research Station (ACW) has conducted a representative survey in co-operation with the Fruit Union Swiss (SOV). This article summarizes the results about the IP producers. Data analysis shows that commercialisation, production costs and apple orchard size are…
Agricultural economics

Dux D., Matz K., Gazzarin C., Lips M.

Managing open grassland in the mountain area of Switzerland – what are the costs?

The visible tendency of Swiss farms to specialise and grow in size has not been without consequences for agriculture. Working time is an increasingly scarce commodity, whilst the incentive to farm low-yield, high-intensity land is decreasing. This has consequences for agriculture: the forest is reclaiming land that farmers have given up working, biodiversity is dwindling,…