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Ökologischer Betrieb
Ökologischer Betrieb
Institute of

BW Farm Economics

Horticulture

Besides arable farming, primary plant production also encompasses specialty crops. Fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants, herbaceous perennials and woody crops belong to the horticultural sector. The German horticultural sector is faced with an intensive international competition, as the availability of tomatoes from the Netherlands or Spain, apples from Italy and New Zealand as well as roses from African countries in German supermarkets show. Therefore, the analysis of the competitiveness and structural changes of the German horticultural production in an international comparison is of great importance for us.

Apart from the mere production of products, horticultural farms often integrate further production steps such as sorting according to quality standards, packaging and also processing. Hence, we do not only concentrate our analysis on the production of horticultural products but enlarge the scope to further steps of the supply chain.

In this context especially the following questions are relevant:

  • How competitive is horticultural production in Germany in comparison with important international competitors?
  • How does the structure of horticulture in Germany change?
  • Which opportunities will be offered to the German horticultural sector in the future and which risks will it be faced with?
  • How do changes in the policy framework affect horticultural enterprises?
  • Are technical innovations economically advantageous for the horticultural production?

As a result of the wide thematic field of our research, we apply a broad spectrum of methodologies. We evaluate statistics, survey practitioners and experts, model typical farms and production systems and analyse investments. Part of this research takes place in the framework of the international network  agri benchmark Horticulture.

Projects of Horticulture

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?

How is the German horticultural sector doing?

How profitable is German horticultural production, what are its production structures, its value chains, its market outlets and who provides advisory services? We want to thoroughly decribe and analyse the current situation.

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How is the German horticultural sector doing?

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

The cluster horticulture in Germany

In national accounting statistics in Germany horticulture is limited to primary production and a few selected horticultural services. Contrary, all actors of the value chain are involved in producing horticultural products. For this reason official statistics do not reflect the economic performance of the horticultural sector completely.

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The cluster horticulture in Germany

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?

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

HortInnova: Reserach Strategy Horticulture

Automation, scarcity of resources and increasing international competition do not stop in front of Horticulture. What are the problems and challenges resulting from these developments to horticultural production? Which solutions can be contributed by research? For the period until 2030 these issues will be discussed and elaborated in a series of workshops with stakeholders from horticultural value chains.

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HortInnova: Reserach Strategy Horticulture

Pathways to reduce food waste (REFOWAS)

The production and consumption of food has an impact on the environment. In this context we question the importance of food waste. To analyse this, we quantify the agricultural and food sectors along the entire value creation chain. Food waste can often be avoided with relative ease. In different case studies we study the main points and reasons for the creation of waste and study different way to reduce them.

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Pathways to reduce food waste (REFOWAS)

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

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)

HortiCo 4.0

Digitalisation will have a major impact on horticultural production systems and horticultural value chains and will change the sector. Therefore, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture has established the horticulture 4.0 funding priority in order to advance the development of digital solutions for the sector.

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HortiCo 4.0

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

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