In-depth analysis of the forest accountancy data network of the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture
The forest accountancy data network of the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture is the central data source at the federal level for assessing the economic situation of forest enterprises and for answering related policy questions. This "data treasure" will be further examined in order to gain additional insights into forest management in Germany.
Background and Objective
In the TBN-Analysis Project the accounting results of around 350 state, municipal and private forest enterprises are collected. Forest enterprises included in the data network individually manage more than 200 hectares of forest land. Roughly 650 natural capital and business indicators are reported annually per forest enterprise on a voluntary basis.
Furthermore the TBN-Analysis Project incorporates data from the Federal Forest Inventory 2012on forest development, the wood markets and the general economic conditions. The TBN-Analysis Project analyzes in particular the evolution of the economic situation of German forest enterprises and their adaptation to changing conditions.
Forestry practice, science and policy advice
Specific issues with high relevance for forest practice, science and policy advice are identified and through an in-depth analysis of key figures of the TBN-forest accountancy data network and their comparison with other data sets analyzed and published.
Data and Methods
Basis of the analysis are the TBN-Data from 2003 until today, with 350 state, municipal and private forest enterprises, using around 650 individual key figures. Thus, a comprehensive record of economic and natural capital data is the basis.
In the scope of the project we analyzed a wide range of themes and issues with regard to the German Forest Accountancy Data Network (TBN) of the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture. Our main findings concerning the economic situation of German forest enterprises can be summarized as follows:
- Time series analysis using structural data of total revenues showed that the share of timber harvesting revenues of municipal and private forest enterprises between 2003 to 2013 remained steadily at around 83%. In contrast, federal state forest enterprises recorded decreasing shares from 77% to 63%.
- A study on timber harvesting data displayed a very good correlation between German National Forest Inventory 2012 data and extrapolated Forest Accountancy Network data. These findings enhance the reliability on the sampling method of Forest Accountancy Network data, fulfilling not all the requirements of representative random samples.
- A time series analysis of make-or-buy decisions of forest enterprises showed the pattern of decreasing in-house production of wood provisioning processes and increasing external procurement. Consequently, a decline in the number of employees subject to social insurance requirements could be detected. Data indicated highest shares of external procurement in private forest enterprises (all size classes) whereas municipal forest enterprises larger than 1000 ha still rely on in‑house production.
- A study on the significance of public funding on total revenues of forest enterprises displayed annual forest subsidies for Germany as a whole of about 60 Mio €/y on average in the past 12 years within the framework of the Joint Task for the »Improvement of Agrarian Structures and Coastal Protection« (GAK). Expressed in per hectare terms the annual subsidies amounted to 9.2 €/ha for private forest enterprises and to 12.4 €/ha for municipal forest enterprises above 200 ha size class on average since 2010. For federal state forest enterprises receiving funds from federal state budgets subsidies are of minor importance.
- Regional evaluations of net income per hectare, timber harvest per hectare and selling prices per cubic meter of raw wood have observed specific patterns in regional distributions of these variables. The regional distribution of net income per hectare has been demonstrated. For timber harvests per hectare South/North differences were evident. Furthermore, in Northern Germany, West/East differences were detected. For the regional distribution of selling prices South/North differences were less evident, albeit average selling prices per cubic meter in the southern federal states were highest.
- In a study to analyze influences of different economic conditions in Austria, Switzerland and Germany, key economic figures of the national forest accountancy networks were harmonized. The elaborated key figure system could also be used for economic benchmarking on forest enterprise level.