The new feed-in tariffs of the Austrian eco-electricity regulation were published in February 2010. It is expected that the higher eco-electricity feed-in tariffs will provide an incentive for the construction of new biogas production plants. The economic potential of biogas for electricity generation in relation to the new eco-electricity feed-in tariffs are assessed with a model cluster including the crop rotation model CropRota, the bio-physical process model EPIC, and the spatially explicit biomass optimization model BiomAT. The model results show that the current feed-in tariffs are not sufficient to increase biogas production. For biogas plants up to 250 kWel, the eco-electricity feed-in tariff is coupled with a minimum share of manure of 30% in the substrate mix. The analysis shows that the additional demand for manure cannot be met in some municipals. However, about 1,330 new biogas plants would be built at a feed-in tariff of 26 ct/kWh, which would increase the share of eco-electricity from biogas to 4.2% of the projected electricity consumption in 2020.
Transport mobility is an important component of contemporary society. Women are often considered to be disadvantaged regarding the access to efficient and adequate transport opportunities. Based on empirical research in rural Scotland this paper explores rural women'saccess to transport resources, their travel behaviour and their involvement in basic activities. The study reveals significant improvement of women's mobility opportunities. Even so, women's journey decisions and their travel patterns evidently derive from traditional gender roles. Women retain primary responsibility for domestic labour and childcare. The resulting lack of time is a major obstacle for many women to participate in activities.
With demographic change, Germany's rural regions face the challenge to develop new strategies to ensure supply with appropriate public infrastructure while becoming less densely populated and experiencing an increasing share of immobile population groups. Even though, in general health care in Germany is very good, in some rural areas its provision tends to be problematic. Demographic change aggravates this situation: Natural demographic shrinkage and out-migration lead to changes in the rural spatial structure and have impacts on the provision of health care. Simultaneously the growing proportion of older people increases the demand for medical care. This paper presents findings of an empirical study on older people's mobility options and obstacles that frequently constrain the access to health care.
Former quality management models highlight the enterprise and focus on factors, which affect the quality management within the enterprise. This study comprehensively analyses several factors, which influence quality management systems in enterprises of the agribusiness. It erupts the previous system and creates an advancement of existing models by subdividing the factors in endogenous, exogenous and system immanent ones.
There are established survey instruments for measuring innovations at
the individual company level. This article discusses how a
questionnaire to measure innovation activity at farm level should differ
from existing surveying tools in research on agriculture and other
sectors. Starting from a workshop, experts and their specific
knowledge and experience are used in a subsequent step. The
agriculture-specific questionnaire developed on the basis of this
empirical data has the following characteristics: First, it is not assumed
a priori that innovations are primarily intended to improve the
economic performance. In addition, the questionnaire also investigates
the importance of natural resources and social aspects. We conclude
that, based on already existing surveying instruments, a holistic,
multidimensional assessment of agricultural innovation is necessary to
take account of the specific situations in agriculture.
Keywords: Innovation measurement, questionnaire construction,
natural resources, social aspects
Agri-environmental schemes have been an important part of European agricultural policy since 1992. Recently, in the background of current challenges they received more and more attention by scientist and by the agri-environmental politics. Furthermore, the society would like to know for what and for which use the big budget will be spent. Therefore, it is very important to evaluate AES. It is desirable to compare evaluations of all the different AES in Europe. To attain this goal we propose an alternative evaluation: the use of an innovation index. By doing so, we show which components would improve the implementation of AES.
This paper provides reasons for credit rationing on agricultural credit markets in Azerbaijan and Bulgaria. The empirical part of the paper was carried out by means of expert interviews in both countries. These interviews were analyzed by means of a qualitative content analysis. The results of the expert interviews reveal the reasons for the credit rationing in both countries: Transaction costs play a significant role for credit rationing because (possible) lenders face high cost to get information about a (possible) borrower. Additionally they face high monitoring costs. Other factors for credit rationing in Azerbaijan and Bulgaria are: a lack of confidence in farmers as borrowers, the low profitability of farms, the small-scale structure of farms and an underdeveloped property market.
The paper contains a theoretical and an empirical analysis on the impact of the Common Agricultural Policy and the natural conditions as well as the regional economy on the intersectoral migration of agricultural labour. First, a theoretical model is explained illustrating labourallocation related to several parameters. Second, an empirical investigation is presented in order to elaborate important factors for the migration decisions of former agricultural employees. The empirical analysis is based on data resulting from 26 Kreise located in the German State of Hesse and the period from 1986 to 2002. According to this, empirical evidence is indicated concerning different variables such as price support and direct payments as well as soil qualitiy and the regional economic prosperity.
The main purpose of this paper is to analyze the statistical relationship among the fuel prices (oil, bioethanol) and selected food prices (corn, wheat and sugar). We conducted a series of statistical tests, starting with tests for unit roots, estimation of cointegrating relationships between price pairs, evaluating the inter-relationship among the variables using Vector Error Corrections (VECM) and Impulse Response Function (IRF). The direction of causation in the variables is tested by means of Granger causality tests. According to our results, there is no cointegrating relationship between time series in the period April 2005 - July 2008 while in the later period (August 2008 - August 2010) there is a long run relationship among all of the variables.
There are widespread beliefs that speculation with agricultural commodities on the futures market has led to rising agricultural commodity spot prices. We empirically analyse the causal relationships between spot prices of maize, wheat, rice, and soybean and agricultural commodity futures trading activities. Theoretical linkages are discussed and relationships between spot prices and financial variables are tested for Granger-causality. Hardly any empirical evidence for causal relationships have been found between changes in "volume traded" and "open positions" of futures contracts and changes in spot prices. The lack of empirical findings casts considerable doubt on the belief that speculation is a major driver of rising agricultural commodity prices.
Agriculture can considerably contribute to climate protection and the extent of renewable energies by biomass cultivation. This paper identifies the agricultural biomass potential for bio-energy usage in Baden- Württemberg applying an economic-ecological modelling approach. The results show that the extension of energy crop cultivation varies widely within the investigated regions. Within the context of forecasted prices for energy and agricultural commodities particularly in cash cropping dominated regions arable land for energy crops will be extended to land limitation restriction, also for perennial energy crops such as Miscanthus. In contrast, grassland is primarily used for energetic conversion in regions dominated by grassland and intensive fodder production. Agriculture in Baden-Württemberg can share significant contributions to greenhouse gas mitigation while simultaneously achieving higher gross margins due to subsidies for renewable energies.
In the course of enhanced diffusion of biogas production in German agriculture, the existing food production is currently competing with the energy generation from agricultural biomass. For the agricultural sector, therefore, the question is how great the potential for conflicts between farms will be. A survey among 160 farmers focuses on their perceptions about negative effects of increased biogas production. The results show that biogas production leads to increased competitionwithin the agriculture and the potential for conflicts is considerable. For politics and agricultural advisory services this implies the necessity for an implementation of conflict prevention and reduction.
Fluctuating agricultural incomes could cause in progressive income tax systems an extra burden for farmers compared to taxpayers with a stable year-to-year-income. This article examines the tax-reducing effects and names additional requirements for evaluating different equalization systems. Effects and problems of the evaluated equalization systems are analyzed. The German two-year-average taxation for agricultural income halves the extra tax burden without inducing a lot of additional administrative work.
The requirements of non-renewable energy resources are an important indicator when assessing agricultural production in terms of sustainability. Energy requirements of Swiss and Austrian agriculture are analysed on a regional level. The outcome varies, depending on the reference system. If the emphasis is on low energy land cultivation, arable farming and forage cultivation do better in the comparative Austrian regions than in Switzerland. With the focus on the amount of food produced, energy efficiency in the Swiss survey area is better for most arable crops. Likewise, Austrian milk production is less efficient than Swiss - despite low-energy fodder production - as significantly more fodder concentrate is used. The differences here are less pronounced in the mountain region than in the plain region.
Competitiveness of agricultural production depends on a set of several factors, including tax policy. Various taxation tools can affect farmers’ decision on production and socio-economic mobility in rural areas. The objective of the article was an attempt to assess the role of income taxation in agriculture from the perspective of competitiveness of this sector (with a particular focus on Polish agriculture). Determining taxable base, and, consequently, preferences, may significantly affect competitive advantages of agricultural sector in an international perspective.
Ever since Carolyn E. Sachs introduced it in 1983, the metaphor of the in_visibility of women in farming has been repeatedly used in talking about status and discrimination of women in the agricultural sector. As multi-functionality and diversification in agriculture became more important and better recognized, women began to be taken much more seriously in many political debates and reports. Against a background of ongoing changes in societal and economic conditions, this paper looks at how this increased visibility is reflected at other levels and at the concomitant developments.
Although genetic engineering in agriculture is a quite complex and controversial issue public discussion leaves scarcely doubts on its rejection by the majority of Germany's population. Though, differentiating analysis is scarcely found. Opinion surveys are typically quite insufficient as they often focus on specific target groups or handle this topic pretty generalized. In contrast this paper presents results derived from a nationwide survey based on socio-scientific standards. Further, it focuses on aspects of environmental consequences of genetically modified plants as they are highly discussed subjectspecifically and politically. Despite all critical evaluations a distinction between specific aspects of genetic engineering in agriculture can be found.
Some countries provide programs for a partial compensation of farm income losses. During the discussions on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) these programs have gained a prominent position. Based on farm specific data taken from the voluntary farm accountancy data network (FADN) this study applies the Canadian "AgriStability" programme and a "WTO Green-box compliant" program to the Austrian setting. For the period 2006-2009 the study identifies the share of farms eligible for income compensation and calculates the required financial support provided either by the government or by the farmers themselves through private mutual funds.
The increasing liberalization of the EU agricultural policy presents a market challenge to the farmers in the EU. Up to now little is known about the attitudes of the farmers towards liberalization and if there are differences in market orientation between farmers due to various agricultural subventions depending upon the production sectors. The purpose of this article is to reveal differences between the farmers regarding their market orientation in contrast to their state orientation. One main result was that farmers are not market oriented at all, most farmers clearly agree to state oriented items or show indifferent attitudes. Politicians and agribusiness should adopt a communication strategy, which is more targeted.
Store choice decisions in the food retailing industry have been widely discussed in the literature. The importance of pricing, quality and assortment is known, and the influence of socio-demographic variables is small. In this paper, a mixed nested logit model is used to study the relationship between specific attitudes of households and their store choice for fruits and vegetables in Germany. Household attitudes are about environment, freshness, organic food, prices and quality. An implied image ranking of stores regarding these attitudes can be established. The weekly farmers' market has throughout a very high implied image, while the discounters Penny, Plus and Aldi enjoy good to average images. The supermarkets Edeka and Rewe get comparable bad results.
We present a spatial model to maximize the profit of cropping by allocating genetically modified and conventional oilseed rape on different fields in a common landscape. The model will be used in further studies to evaluate different liability rules of out-crossing damages due to pollen dispersion. In this paper we test whether the applied genetic algorithm is able to optimize the spatial allocation. Although the global optimum is not always found the common algorithm seems to be appropriate after some modification.
During the "BEP Bioschwein" project, Animal health and Welfare Planning (AHWP) was implemented on 50 organic pig farms in Austria (29 breeding and 21 fattening farms). Farmers choose farm individual goals in the areas "economic performance" ("E"), "feeding" ("F"), "husbandry" ("H") and "health and welfare" ("A"). 17 farms pursued the goal "E" measured as increase of gross margin. Across all farms gross margins increased during the project year by € 62.7 per sow on breeding farms and by € 4.1 per fattening place on fattening farms, however not significantly. Comparing farms pursuing the goal "E" with farms pursuing one of the other goals ("F, H, A") no significant changes in gross margins was found.
Currently the Federal Government of Germany as well as the European Commission discusses the establishment of an animal welfare label. From a scientific point of view the assessment of animal welfare nowadays is based on four dimensions, i. e. good housing, good feeding, good health and appropriate behaviour. It is vague to what extent this understanding of animal welfare is shared by farmers. Therefore the aim of the present study is to estimate the perceptions of conventional German pig farmers in terms of animal welfare. For this purpose the framing theory is used. Additionally, a cluster analysis estimates 29% of farmers as a target group for an animal welfare program.
Through its various links to natural resources the agriculture and forestry sector is frequently confronted with questions of environmental protection. Cost-Benefit-Analysis (CBA) is a common procedure in this respect. Despite its theoretical applicability to non-market goods such analyses are affected by obstacles, which can be divided into three categories: externalities and public goods, mistakes/anomalies in decision making, and tastes ("preference coherence"). This paper reviews impediments for Environmental-Cost-Benefit-Analysis (ECBA) which are rooted in the empirical evidence of anomalous behaviour of indi- viduals. Based on the likely consequences for ECBA the main directions of current research are elaborated.
Understanding pesticide-use decisions is a study intended to explain different patterns of farming systems utilised in European agriculture, which are defined in terms of pesticide use attributes. In this investigation motivational and knowledge systems related to crop protection are described, socio-economic factors affecting decisions about the use of pesticides are identified, and driving forces behind pesticide-use attributes are drawn. Our research shows that socioeconomic factors affecting crop protection strategies are mainly oriented to guarantee reduction of consumers' risks from pesticide residues; while, climatic conditions and availability of effective technical options are explanatory factors for the different pesticide use patterns. Two policy options for the implementation of the New Framework Directive on Sustainable Use of Pesticides are elucidated.
while generally the share of imports is increasing in the German organic fruit and vegetable market, the situations seems to be better in the case of organic apples. Domestic produce accounts for about 55%. This contribution answers the question for reasons and success factors within the organic apple market. The focus of the research is laid on cooperation behaviour and on the quality of business relations. Structured interviews were conducted with selected actors of the supply chain. Success factors are the intensive cooperation and the high commitment particularly among producers and their direct traders, the high transparency and market structures making no difference between apples from various farmers' organisations. However, part of the success is also related to the pronounced consumer preferences for domestic apples.
Switzerland constitutes a difficult case for the coexistence of nongenetically modified crops with transgenic crops. The small-scale agricultural area and the critical attitude of the Swiss population to green genetic engineering throw doubt on the feasibility of coexistence. A survey was conducted to sound out the potential willingness to cultivate transgenic crops and to investigate their neighbourly circumstances. One third of the farmers in the region would possibly use transgenic crops. It transpired that the social environment has a considerable influence on willingness to grow these crops. Different spatial coexistence measures cause spatial defiles.
Since 2009 about 2/3 of Austrian biogas plants are organized in working groups. The aim of such working groups is to improve the technical and economic situation of biogas production. Therefore, special analyses are used for discussions about different key figures at meetings of the working groups. In this article, the main activities of "Arbeitskreis Biogas" are specified. Furthermore, first results of analyses for the year 2011 are presented. In Austrian biogas plants are mainly (energy-related) used energy plants and grass from farmland resp. grassland. The organic load is about 2.3 kg oDM (m3.d)-1, which is at a low limit. On the other hand, the hydraulic retention time is with 200 days rather high.
The main conclusion of this paper is that economic benefits of site specific management of inputs are often limited by flat site-specific payoff functions in the area where the economic optimum can be found. Therefore, we conclude that future perspectives of precision farming are technologies which generate a new payoff function at a higher level rather than technologies which aim at improving management decisions about existing technologies. Examples for such technologies might be quality specific harvesting or controlled traffic farming.
We assess the vulnerability of cropland to soil water erosion and the effectiveness of two soil conservation measures in Austria. Potential sediment yields are simulated with the RUSLE (Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation) methodology for five climate change scenarios until 2040 using the bio-physical process model EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate). Cropland has been assigned to five vulnerability classes according to OECD (2001). Potential changes in mean annual crop yields and gross margins have been calculated. The model results indicate increasing sediment yields with higher precipitation sums. Reduced tillage and cultivating winter cover crops have been identified as effective adaptation options though they generally result in lower crop yields and gross margins. However, the additional variable costs are over-compensated by current agri-environmental premiums.
This study analyses the greenhouse gas emissions of a biogas plant in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The analysis is done according the life cycle assessment method. The specific electricity production costs of the plant are analyzed. Mitigation costs per ton of CO2-equivalent are calculated. Furthermore the impact on the mitigation costs of a gastight residue storage and of the utilization of the co-produced thermal energy are analyzed.
In 2009, about 1.335 ha croplands have been declared as short-rotation plantations in Austria (STATISTIK AUSTRIA, 2009). Federal state governments and producers of bioenergy plan to expand these areas. We assess the economic and environmental effects of large-scale poplar plantations on croplands in Austria using the integrated biomass optimization model BiomAT. The model results show that the highest gross margin annuities deliver poplar plantations in three-year rotations. Economic potentials of large-scale poplar plantations have been assessed in a marginal opportunity cost framework by comparing gross margin annuities of poplar production and crop rotations. The assessment of environmental effects of polar production shows that topsoil organic carbon contents of croplands do not change whereas total nitrogen emissions could be reduced significantly.
In order to forecast future wood supply from members of the Styrian forest owner association, an analysis of the supply behaviour is essential. Thereby, seasonality plays an important role next to other influential factors like wood prices. This study concentrates on this seasonal influence by conducting research on the wood supply behaviour of almost 13,500 associated members over the last 78 months. This panel dataset is the basis for the developed econometric model. Results substantiate the impact of seasonality on wood supply.
Intensive agricultural livestock husbandry is increasingly being criticized in public fora. The term "factory farming" is thereby often mentioned in the media debate about agricultural production. Until now, consumer understanding of and attitude towards this term has rarely been analyzed. Using an online-survey, 287 German consumers were questioned about their understanding of the term of "factory farming" and about their attitudes towards intensive animal husbandry. The results show that the term "factory farming" has clearly negative associations for the respondents. In the sample, two consumer segments (cluster) were identified which criticize "factory farming" on different levels. The experiment shows that economic arguments as justification for increasing farm sizes are, from the critics' point of view, unconvincing.
Empirical studies often reveal a high willingness-to-pay for alternative animal husbandry. However, this is rarely analysed with respect to attitudes towards animal welfare or the acceptance of modern husbandry schemes. Our empirical study focusses on this research gap which might be crucial for future pig production. As a result, 20 % of the willingness to pay for a husbandry on straw, which is measured with contingent valuation method, can be explained by the factors "ethical value of animal welfare" and "evaluation of modern pig husbandry" as well as the net-income. A cluster analysis reveals very diverse attitudinal structures. Only one cluster (17 % of the sample), which attributes a high value towards animal welfare and evaluates modern husbandry schemes badly, seems to be higher involved and thus to be the core target group for animal friendly products.
To combat vitamin A deficiency in Kenya, a "biofortified" maize variety, i.e. one with a higher content of beta-carotene, is being bred. The benefits of the biofortified variety is evaluated ex-ante, based on data from an experimental auction. Necessary assumptions include well informed participants, constant price relations, a representative sample and non-diminishing marginal utility of vitamin A. Results show that if the biofortified maize costs the same as the standard plainwhite maize, the consumer surplus increases by 4 to 14% of the average maize consumption.