Deputy Director


Kerstin Martens
Institute of Farm Economics

Bundesallee 63
38116 Braunschweig
Phone: +49 531 596 5102
Fax: +49 531 596 5199

Crop production in Russia and Ukraine


Grain harvest in Voronezh, Russia (c) agri benchmark/Tanja Möllmann
Grain harvest in Voronezh, Russia (© agri benchmark/Tanja Möllmann)

Perspectives of farm structures, cropping patterns and production systems in Russia and the Ukraine

After central planning has come to and end and growers have access to new technologies and new varieties the question is, how will farm structure and arable production evolve in Russia and the Ukraine in future. How competitive are agroholdings relative to individual farms? What are the perspectives of new crops such as corn and soybeans?

Background and Objective

Based on a close copperation with local partners, the project aims to disclose economic drivers for the evolution of farm structures and cropping patterns. Based on this information we come up with projections for the long-term evolution of crop production in these countries.

Target Group

Policy makers, Unions, Agribusiness


We join forces with national partner institutions in Russia and the Ukraine as well as with local producers in order to get access to reliable farm level data om farm structure, cropping patterns and production systems.

Data and Methods

This project is based on farm economics figures which are being generated in the course of agri benchmark Cash Crop. This data is used to calculate the economics of (a) crop-specific production systems and/or (b) respective farms.


In arable production, agriholdings were found to have strong competitive advantages in access to and cost of capital, as well as more favourable input and output prices. On the other hand, they are less efficient, with lower yields and higher overhead costs than top-performing independent farms. At the bottom line, typical well-performing independent farms were found to generate a higher return to land than typical agriholding member farms of the same size. If agriholdings can overcome their efficiency challenge, the economic gap may close in the future. A likely way to accomplish this was found to be decentralization and strengthening of farm-level management.

More detailed results can be found in the following publications:

Walther S  2014  Determinants of competitiveness of agroholdings and independent farms in Ukrainian arable production, Thünen Institut.

Zimmer Y 2012 Rapeseed in Central and Eastern Europe - A lot of Room for Growth, agri benchmark Cash Crop Working Paper 2012/1; download:

Walther S, Davier Z von (2017) Competitive advantages and disadvantages of agriholdings and independent farms - a case study from Ukrainian arable production. Int J Agric Manag 6(2):62-70, DOI:10.5836/ijam/2017-06-62   


Involved external Thünen-Partners


10.2013 - 11.2017

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: finished

Publications to the project

hits: 1

  1. Zimmer Y (2012) Rapeseed in Central and Eastern Europe - a lot of room for growth. agri benchmark, 8 p, Working Paper agri benchmark Cash Crop Network 1/2012
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 361 kb