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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…
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…