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Ökologischer Betrieb
Ökologischer Betrieb
Institute of

BW Farm Economics

International Competitiveness

Maintaining and improving the competitiveness of our agriculture plays a paramount role in the decision making process of companies, politics and society. Competition exists within a sector on the product level – for example in cereal production – between farms, regions and countries. Competition also takes place between sectors, mainly for the production factors labour, land and capital.

In the Institute of Farm Economics we consider competitiveness first of all from the perspective of the production system and the farm. We build our analysis bottom-up, in other words with the analysis of production systems. That is, we can not only reflect prices, costs and profitability but also quantities. This helps a lot to explain differences in competitiveness. We also go beyond farm-level analysis by reflecting the natural, political, legal, economic and structural framework conditions as explaining variables. For this purpose, the global  agri benchmark  Network, which is lead by our institute, serves as the main instrument for the analysis.

More precise, we address the following questions:„ 

  • „How competitive is the production of the most important agricultural goods in Germany in the international comparison?
  • What are the main determinants for the competitiveness and their differences between farms, regions and countries?
  • How did prices, cost of production and profitability evolve in the course of time?
  • How do legal framework conditions impact on the level of production costs?
  • How will competitiveness most likely develop in the future?

Projects of Competitiveness

agri benchmark Pig

Pork is the most popular meat in the world. The network agri benchmark Pig analyses the profitability of pig production and determines the competitiveness at production system and farm level

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agri benchmark Pig

All cattle for Jakarta?

The Indonesian beef supply chain is very dynamic and characterised by huge structural differences in production, live cattle trade, processing and retail.

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All cattle for Jakarta?

Analysis of Production Costs on Dairy Farms within the EDF (European Dairy Farmers) Network

Due to the liberalisation of agricultural markets German dairy farmers face increasing competition regarding market shares on the world milk market. What are their chances?

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Analysis of Production Costs on Dairy Farms within the EDF (European Dairy Farmers) Network

Are new technologies for cauliflower and broccoli production going to prevail?

In research, future-oriented, technological approaches are being pursued to increase the security of horticultural production systems and products. We ask whether such technologies will actually be implemented into the horticultural production systems.

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Are new technologies for cauliflower and broccoli production going to prevail?

Broiler production systems

Calculating the profits per bird and for the enterprise on the whole, as well as the labour income in free range and organic production systems compared with conventional broiler production

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Broiler production systems

Cost structures in beef production

Is there an opportunity to estimate national cost share structures in beef finishing? Production costs for beef finishing are determined by several components. Their influence can vary a lot between the different countries. However it is difficult to find consistent data between different countries to be able to compare the costs for beef finishing. Nevertheless these data are the basis for example Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) market models.

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Cost structures in beef 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

Economics of arable crop production

Policy makers very often are faced with the challenge to access the implications of changes in the political, legal or technological framework conditions on arable production. This may for example referr to the ban of individual crop protection products. This project is providing ready-to-use answers to such questions - both on the national as well as on the international level.

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Economics of arable crop production

Economics of beef and lamb production as well as grassland use

Beef and sheep production in Germany: business or side products?

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Economics of beef and lamb production as well as grassland use

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?

Future of sheep farming in Germany

Sheep farmers make an important contribution to the preservation and maintenance of landscapes and at the same time produce valuable food and wool. But what is the current state of sheep farming? What types of sheep farms are there in Germany? What are the perspectives and challenges? These questions will be addressed in the project.

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Future of sheep farming in Germany

Greenhouse gas mitigation strategies in arable farming -An international comparison

On a global scale, agriculture is estimated to contribute 18 % of human-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Arable cropping systems account for over one-third of the sector’s GHG emissions, with the largest share originating from the application of nitrogen-based fertilizers. Given this large share, the sector should play an active role in the global challenge of climate protection, which will require an enormous effort to limit global warming to 2°C. In this context, effective climate protection research is essential to identify the most efficient ways to mitigate GHG emissions. Therefore, ...

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Greenhouse gas mitigation strategies in arable farming -An international comparison

How can the proposals of the Livestock Competence Network be transferred into practical farming?

The Livestock Competence Network (KNW), headed by former Federal Minister of Agriculture Jochen Borchert, has presented comprehensive proposals for the conversion of livestock production in Germany to animal welfare-friendly production methods.

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How can the proposals of the Livestock Competence Network be transferred into practical farming?

How is beef produced

International comparative analysis of beef production within the agri benchmark Beef and Sheep Network

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How is beef produced

Impact analysis of EU and national agricultural policies

The next reform is just around the corner - that much is clear to anybody following agricultural policy in Germany and the EU. While some may groan in exasperation, these continuous adjustments reflect the extremely dynamic change of framework conditions and societal expectations that the agricultural sector is faced with.

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Impact analysis of EU and national agricultural policies

International competitiveness and efficiency in apple production

Apples are among the most popular fruits in Europe. Nevertheless, European apple producers face major challenges. On the one hand, the sector is subject to high competitive pressure due to a large supply on the world market, and on the other hand, apple producers are exposed to very different production conditions. Therefore we address the question of how competitive the most important European apple-growing countries are and how apple growing in Europe will develop in the future.

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International competitiveness and efficiency in apple production

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

International competitiveness of pig production in the context of animal welfare aspects

Selected measures for more animal welfare and their economic consequences on animal performance, productivity and profitability of the sow and finishing enterprises in Germany are investigated. On the basis of this, it will be analysed to what extent these measures will change the international competitiveness of pig production.

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International competitiveness of pig production in the context of animal welfare aspects

Laying hens in small group systems - is it profitable?

Economic efficiency of small group systems for laying hens in Germany

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Laying hens in small group systems - is it profitable?

Liquidity management in dairy farms in Lower Saxony

Dairy farms and their management are increasingly experiencing fluctuating cash flows in their day-to-day operations. We are investigating which dairy farmers in Lower Saxony are applying liquidity management measures, what they are doing and why.

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Liquidity management in dairy farms in Lower Saxony

More beef import from the US to the EU soon?

The USA and Canada are major beef producers and exporters. Given the beef price differential to the EU, both countries have an interest to export beef to the EU.

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More beef import from the US to the EU soon?

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

Possibilities for reducing the use of pesticides in arable farming

Common crop protection strategies in arable farming are increasingly losing their effect as resistance to grass, insects and fungi spreads in many intensive arable areas. This leads to rising costs and changes in production systems. At the same time, the benefits and dangers of plant protection are critically discussed in society. Alternatives to chemical crop protection such as mechanical weeding are already available but are usually associated with higher costs. Against this background, the project aims to find out how the use of pesticides can be reduced as efficiently as possible.

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Possibilities for reducing the use of pesticides in arable farming

Production cost estimation and policy impact analyses using farm accountancy data

Only those who know the costs can make the right decisions. This phrase holds true for farmers and policy makers alike. However: how to accurately determine costs?

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Production cost estimation and policy impact analyses using farm accountancy data

Production costs sugar raw materials

The sugar market will be liberalized more and more. As a result of the EBA agreement, the least developed countries (LDC) had been able to export unlimited amounts of tax free sugar to the EU since 2009. Additionally, the EU aims a free trade agreement with the Mercosur States. If sugar will not be classified as a sensitive product, this could lead to additional sugar imports into the EU. As a result, the increasing sugar imports could substitute European beet sugar.

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Production costs sugar raw materials

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)

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

Structural change and competitiveness of the German horticultural sector

The structures of horticultural production in Germany are changing. Fewer farms cultivate, on average, more acreage and partially with very specialized crops. The intensity is influenced by different framework conditions such as legal and economic constraints as well as potentials.

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Structural change and competitiveness of the German horticultural sector

Terms of Trade Crop and Beef Production

Do prices follow costs?

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Terms of Trade Crop and Beef Production

What is the impact of investment support in agriculture?

If agricultural holdings are keen to persist they ought to invest in technology and buildings. The state supports them via grants and garantees. We investigate the effectiveness and efficiency of these aids.

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What is the impact of investment support in agriculture?

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