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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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…