Facts & Figures
Income development in organic farming
Heike Kuhnert | 13.03.2023
"It's the economy, stupid!" - Bill Clinton's legendary saying also applies to the organic sector. Whether organic farmers invest in their farm or conventional colleagues consider switching to organic depends decisively on the farm income generated or achievable.
The Thünen Institute of Farm Economics has been investigating and publishing the annual results on the income situation of organic farms participating in the German test farm network for over 20 years. In the 2021/22 financial year, the income situation of organic farms (n = 567) improved.
The organic test farms achieved an average income of 42,607 euros (profit plus personnel expenses per worker) compared to 38,986 euros in the previous year. This represents an increase of 3,621 euros or 9 %. The income of organic arable farms was the highest at 60,207 euros.
Income higher than in conventional farming
The incomes of organic farms are compared to the incomes of comparable conventional farms with similar site conditions and production factors. For the 2021/22 financial year, data from 446 organic test farms could be compared with 1,862 conventional test farms. The average income of the organic farms was around 3,460 euros higher than that of the conventional comparison group. While the organic farms included in the comparison earned 42,607 euros, the income of the conventional comparison farms was 39,147 euros.
It is striking that there are large differences in success among the organic farms. This applies both with regard to the four different farm types (arable, dairy, other grassland and mixed) and within the farm types investigated.
The most important results are summarized in the German-language report Analysis of the economic situation of organic farms in the 2021/22 financial year (Analyse der wirtschaftlichen Lage ökologisch wirtschaftender Betriebe im Wirtschaftsjahr 2021/22).