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Ökologischer Betrieb
Ökologischer Betrieb
Institute of

BW Farm Economics

Environmental and Climate Protection, Sustainability

Even though substantial progress has been achieved in many respects, environmental problems induced by agriculture still represent a major challenge to our society. The tendency towards reducing biodiversity in agricultural landscapes continues despite the designation of protected areas (FFH, Natura 2000) and different agri-environmental measures. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions further and achieve the goals of the Kyoto protocol, additional efforts are needed. Also agriculture should make a contribution since land use and land use changes have a considerable impact on climate change. In many regions the discharge of nutrients into rivers and seas and the nitrate pollution of the groundwater are too high. One reason is the high nitrogen surplus, which is on average 100 kilogrammes per hectare utilised agricultural area and thus still above the target of the Federal Government of 80 kilogrammes per hectare.

To reduce these and other environmental problems, the resource efficiency in agriculture needs to be improved significantly. But how is this possible without compromising competitiveness? How it can be achieved that environmental protection plays a greater role in the decision making of farmers and which contribution can agricultural policy make?

In our research we examine the incentives and the on-farm impact of environmental policy measures as well as environmental and economic effects at EU level using the model CAPRI (Common Agricultural Policy Regional Impact Modelling System). In addition, we analyse the profitability of environmental friendly land use systems such as organic farming. Further, we investigate how the impact of environmental policy measures in agriculture could be better evaluated and how its cost effectiveness could be enhanced. To increase agricultural sustainability, we explore how a sustainable production can be identified and through which processes and measures it could be supported.

Projects of Environmental Protection and Sustainability

ALL-Ready - The European Agroecology Living Lab and Research Infrastructure Network: Preparation phase

Paving the way for agroecology in Europe

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ALL-Ready - The European Agroecology Living Lab and Research Infrastructure Network: Preparation phase

Analysis of the economic situation of organic farming

The organic area shall further grow in view the German government. This requires that the organic management is profitable. Book-keeping records of the Farm Accountancy Network provide relevant information, if this was the case in the last years.

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Analysis of the economic situation of organic farming

Can sustainable production of beef, palm oil and soy bean be profitable?

The production of beef, palmoil and soybean competes on land which has been covered by rainforest and other natural vegetation.

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Can sustainable production of beef, palm oil and soy bean be profitable?

Common Agricultural Policy from the rural point of view: the CAPRI-RD model

Policy measures to promote rural areas like village renewal or promotion of young farmers do not only impact agricultural holdings but also other economic sectors, e.g. tourism, food processing or education. For responsible handling of tax payers’ money, it is important to know if the policy measure is adequately targeted. It is especially challenging to consider the interactions between the different economic sectors, merely because of the great number of different funding programs. The aim of this project is to solve this task and to quantify the impacts of promoting the rural areas.

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Common Agricultural Policy from the rural point of view: the CAPRI-RD model

Copernicus lights green

Land consumption and intensification of use exert high pressure on grassland areas. Recording and assessing the condition and distribution of protected grassland and grassland worthy of protection requires a great deal of effort. In the future, satellite data should support official monitoring with area-wide services.

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Copernicus lights green

Costs and benefits of improved nutrient management strategies in organic vegetable production

Sustainable nutrient management is a challenge also in organic agriculture. Scarcity of resources and increasingly restrictive legislation concerning the use of nutrients in agriculture are challenges for both conventional and organic vegetable production.

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Costs and benefits of improved nutrient management strategies in organic vegetable production

Costs of mitigating greenhouse gas emssiones in in crop and beef production

Crop and cattle production contribute to the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. What are the economic impacts of GHG-mitigation in agricultural farms?

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Costs of mitigating greenhouse gas emssiones in in crop and beef production

Digital organic control - Does it work?

Organic products are strictly controlled. That is why cases of fraud become public again and again. Nevertheless, there are weak points. Are digital processes a soluation?

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Digital organic control - Does it work?

Ecological and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems

The transformation of tropical rainforest to rubber and oil palm plantations has extensive impact on nature and living conditions. Remote sensing helps us to understand the spatial-temporal patterns and drivers of those processes.

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Ecological and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems

Economic analyses of resource efficiency of farms

An increase of resource efficiency is a central challenge for agriculture. Required are management concepts which lead to an optimal use of farm resource such as nutrients, water or energy. But without consideration of the economic aspects, these concepts are of little use.

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Economic analyses of resource efficiency of farms

Economic assessment of nitrogene fertilization strategies in open field vegetable production

Economic assessment of nitrogene fertilization strategies in open field vegetable production

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Economic assessment of nitrogene fertilization strategies in open field vegetable production

Environmental and animal protection - too expensive for producers?

To which extent are EU and non-EU producers affected by legal regulations and how does this impact on their competitiveness?

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Environmental and animal protection  - too expensive for producers?

Evaluation of the EU Organic Regulation

The EU regulation on organic farming defines the legal framework of organic farming in Europe and aims to contribute to a sustainable development of the sector. How effective and relevant are the current rules and where is a need for a change?

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Evaluation of the EU Organic Regulation

F.R.A.N.Z. - Future Resources, Agriculture & Nature Conservation

The joint project F.R.A.N.Z. develops and tests practically and economically sustainable measures for more biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. The accompanying research addresses ecological and socio-economic questions.

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F.R.A.N.Z. - Future Resources, Agriculture & Nature Conservation

F.R.A.N.Z. - Future-oriented resource use, agronomy and nature conservation

F.R.A.N.Z. has set itself the target to develop and test measures to preserve and increase biodiversity in agricultural landscape.

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F.R.A.N.Z. - Future-oriented resource use, agronomy and nature conservation

Facilitating insects in agricultural landscapes through renewable resources

Intensive agriculture is considered as a major cause of the decline of insect diversity and biomass in Germany. Within the frame of the national action programme for the conservation of insects, FInAL will therefore establish Landscape Laboratories in representative agricultural landscapes of Germany where we will develop, demonstrate and evaluate innovative measures for facilitating insects through integrated cultivation of renewable resources in a landscape context.

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Facilitating insects in agricultural landscapes through renewable resources

GHG mitigation in cattle farming - how much is possible where?

Cattle farming for meat production is an important global cause of greenhouse gases in agriculture. However, sources, reduction potential and associated costs vary considerably. We compare across countries.

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GHG mitigation in cattle farming - how much is possible where?

Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Reduction Strategies in Germany: Analyses at Farm Level

What contribution can agriculture make to climate protection and what are the costs for the farms when implementing an adaptation strategy? With a model-based analysis conducted with the farm group model FARMIS, we analyse and evaluate the effects of possible greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation strategies.

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Reduction Strategies in Germany: Analyses at Farm Level

Housing and husbandry systems of the future

None of today's widespread systems in use are convincing in all parameters. There are major differences between the systems in terms of animal welfare, re-source efficiency, production costs and profitability. Digitalisation can help to improve existing processes or to develop completely new systems. The project "Stable and housing systems of the future" is an in-house project for the development of innovative, automated and sustainable stable systems in livestock farming.

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Housing and husbandry systems of the future

Impact of changing policy framework conditions on organic farming

The development of organic farming is heavily influenced by the general agricultural policy framework, which are continously changed. What are the impacts of the recent reforms on the organic sector?

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Impact of changing policy framework conditions on organic farming

Integrated actions for sustainable ecosystems services in the Baltic Sea Region

Integration of social learning processes in the identification of governance configurations for innovative measures that offer multiple ecosystem service benefits in the Baltic Sea Region.

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Integrated actions for sustainable ecosystems services in the Baltic Sea Region

International competitiveness of organic arable farming in Germany

The demand for organically produced cereals, as well as organically produced oilseeds and legumes, has increased steadily in Germany in the past years.

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International competitiveness of organic arable farming in Germany

Monitoring biological diversity in agricultural landscapes with remote sensing

A long-term monitoring of biological diversity at national level requires a representative data basis about the state and development of agricultural landscape. To achieve this, the project MonViFE develops spatially explicit indicators of landscape structure and land-use intensity.

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Monitoring biological diversity in agricultural landscapes with remote sensing

Monitoring of climate-impacting measures in crop and grassland management with satellite data

With 66.4 million tons of CO2 equivalents, agriculture was responsible for 9 % of greenhouse gas emissions in Germany in 2020. Adaptations in farm management can reduce these emissions. Area-wide data on such adaptation measures will be derived from high-resolution satellite data.

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Monitoring of climate-impacting measures in crop and grassland management with satellite data

Monitoring of farmland biodiversity in Germany

Far reaching changes in production systems and in farm management have led to a decline in farmland biodiversity. To counteract this decline, a national database is needed that allows conclusions to be drawn about cause-effect relationships.

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Monitoring of farmland biodiversity in Germany

Monitoring of organic support policies

Organic farming is supported with public funding in Europe. Which support measures exist and how much funding is available in Germany and in other EU Member States?

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Monitoring of organic support policies

Nutri2Cycle - Nurturing the Circular Economy

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Nutri2Cycle - Nurturing the Circular Economy

On the way to 20 % organic farming

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On the way to 20 % organic farming

Pig husbandry of the future

How should pigs be kept in the future? We compare different housing systems in piglet production and pig fattening from different perspectives and aim at identifying housing systems for the future.

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Pig husbandry of the future

Policy support for organic farming - measures, strategies and farm-level perspectives

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Policy support for organic farming - measures, strategies and farm-level perspectives

Public services of organic agriculture for the environment and society

Is organic farming good for the environment and animal welfare? This question is a constant source of controversy. Reason enough to take time for a detailed analysis and to investigate the current state of knowledge.

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Public services of organic agriculture for the environment and society

QM-Dairy Sustainability Tool

The QM-Dairy Sustainability Tool 2.0. is used to collect data on the sustainability of milk production throughout Germany. About 30 dairies are participating.

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QM-Dairy Sustainability Tool

Reduction of peat use in Germany (MITODE)

Thünen-JKI joint project: Possibilities and effects of reducing the use of peat in horticulture in Germany. Sub-project economic evaluation on farm level.

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Reduction of peat use in Germany (MITODE)

Remuneration for the environmental benefits of organic farming

Lower nitrogen burdens in water courses, reduced resource use, more biodiversity in farmed landscapes – organic farming delivers many benefits for society. But organic farms are not rewarded appropriately for their services. What needs to change?

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Remuneration for the environmental benefits of organic farming

Renewable resources - economically analyzed

Politics are supporting renewable resources for the provision of bioenergy or for the material use. However, the question arises whether this is the right way: consumers complain about increasing electricity prices, environmentalists about the ploughing of grassland and farmers about increasing land rents. Therefore, we analyze how the political support of renewable resources can be optimized.

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Renewable resources - economically analyzed

SHERPA - Sustainable Hub to Engage into Rural Policies with Actors

Strengthening the science-society-policy dialogue for the formulation of rural policies and research agendas at European and regional levels.

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SHERPA - Sustainable Hub to Engage into Rural Policies with Actors

Sustainable milk production in Lower Saxony

How sustainable is milk production in Lower Saxony, and what does the term "sustainable" actually mean? Which aspects need to be considered in order to make a statement about sustainability in milk production? And how could a first inventory be conducted so as to make first statements on sustainability aspects in milk production in Lower Saxony, considering a passable effort for all actors?

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Sustainable milk production in Lower Saxony

Targeted schemes for increasing agrobiodiversity

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Targeted schemes for increasing agrobiodiversity

TRUSTEE Task „Validation of the implementation logic of RD-measures and the Baseline in the CAPRI model“

To quantify the impact of policy measures for rural development, the development of the pan European model „Common Agricultural Policy Regionalised Impact - The Rural Development Dimension“ (CAPRI-RD) was the first important step. During the development process it became clear that measures to promote the rural area can only be modelled successfully, if national experts validate them continuously. In the TRUSTEE project, national experts come together to further continue this procedure.

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TRUSTEE Task „Validation of the implementation logic of RD-measures and the Baseline in the CAPRI model“

UNISECO - Understanding and Improving the Sustainability of Agro-ecological Farming Systems in the EU

Strengthen the sustainability of EU farming systems, through co-constructing improved and practice-validated strategies and incentives for the promotion of improved agro-ecological approaches.

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UNISECO - Understanding and Improving the Sustainability of Agro-ecological Farming Systems in the EU

What are the impacts of the EU rural development programmes on the environment? New methods for environmental evaluation

How can the provision of public goods such as biodiversity be effectively supported through the Common Agricultural Policy? This is one of the core questions in political and scientific debates of the future Common Agricultural Policy in the EU. To be able to answer this question requires the establishment of robust causal linkages between support measures and the desired environmental impacts and consistent methodological frameworks to assess environmental impacts across different scales and levels.

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What are the impacts of the EU rural development programmes on the environment? New methods for environmental evaluation

„Dairy Sustainability Tool“: Implementation and feasibility of a sector-specific concept for the sustainable development of dairy production in Germany

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„Dairy Sustainability Tool“: Implementation and feasibility of a sector-specific concept for the sustainable development of dairy production in Germany

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