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Horn M.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Knaus W.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Kirner L.,Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics | Steinwidder A.,Institute of Organic Farming and Farm Animal Biodiversity
Organic Agriculture | Year: 2012

Over the past few decades, the main focus in dairy cow breeding in Europe and North America has been on maximising milk yield per lactation, but more and more, dairy farmers are faced with severe declines in fitness traits and therefore reduced longevity. This is not only questionable from a sustainability perspective but also from an economic point of view. The aim of this study was to highlight the economic importance of longevity in organic dairy cattle husbandry. To this end, performance and reproductive data of 44,976 Austrian organic Simmental dairy cows were grouped according to longevity and milk yield and analysed by applying a bio-economic model. Profit per year was calculated using full cost accounting. Two farm scenarios were modelled and assessed: limited milk quota and limited stocking rate, as well as different market situations (abolition of milk quota and varying concentrate and milk prices). Cows reached maximum annual milk yield in the 5th lactation. Overall costs declined with increasing longevity due to dropping replacement costs. Annual profit was influenced considerably by milk yield and longevity. It reached its peak in the 6th lactation. Short-lived animals needed substantially higher annual milk yields than long-lived animals to achieve equal annual profits. The market scenarios applied showed an increasing importance of longevity in situations of increasing economic pressure (+20 % of concentrate and -20 % of milk price). It has been clearly proven that extending longevity allows lower milk yield levels without decreasing profitability. Considerable lower use of concentrates and reduced dependence on off-farm inputs and market fluctuations are further benefits. © 2012 Springer Science & Business Media BV.

Niedermayr J.,Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics | Hoffmann C.,The Academy of Management | Stawinoga A.,The Academy of Management | Streifeneder T.,The Academy of Management
Journal of the Austrian Society of Agricultural Economics | Year: 2014

Agro-structural change continues. In the European Union (EU) and particular in the Alps its characteristics and challenges are manifold. This paper thus intends to detect Alpine-wide major driving forces by means of an agro- and socioeconomic monitoring system. Analyses rest on a statistical comprehensive dataset (2000/10) of 5.758 municipalities (LAU2). The detailed assessment of agro- and socioeconomic variables at LAU2 enables the aggregation of general agro-structural trends to a higher geographic scale. Under the current agro- and socioeconomic framework conditions, the results from linear regression analysis highlight significant variables impacting the change in farms among Alpine countries and EU farm types. This holistic view based on the latest agricultural census intends to support mountain agriculture policies. © 2014, OGA-Osterreichische Gesellschaft fur Agrarokonomie. All rights reserved.

Hrtenhuber S.,University of Vienna | Hrtenhuber S.,Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL Austria | Lindenthal T.,Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL Austria | Amon B.,University of Vienna | And 3 more authors.
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems | Year: 2010

The aim of this study was to analyze various Austrian dairy production systems (PS) concerning their greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) in a life-cycle chain, including effects of land-use change (LUC). Models of eight PS that differ, on the one hand, in their regional location (alpine, uplands and lowlands) and, on the other hand, in their production method (conventional versus organic, including traditional and recently emerging pasture-based dairy farming) were designed. In general, the GHGE-reducing effect of a higher milk yield per cow and year in conventional dairy farming cannot compensate for the advantages of organic dairy production which requires lower inputs. This is shown both for GHGE per kg of milk and GHGE per ha and year of farmland. Especially when (imported) concentrates were fed, which had been grown on former forests or grassland, e.g. soybean meal and rapeseed cake, GHGE of conventional dairy farming rose due to the effects of LUC. GHGE per kg milk varied from 0.90 to 1.17 kg CO2-eq for conventional PS, while organic PS on average emitted 11% less greenhouse gases (GHGs), the values ranging from 0.81 to 1.02 CO2-eq per kg milk. Within each production method, PS with a higher milk output generally showed better results for GHGE per kg of milk produced than PS with a lower milk output. Nevertheless the latter showed clearly better results for GHGE per ha of land used, ranging from 5.2 to 7.6 Mg CO 2-eq per ha and year for conventional PS and from 4.2 to 6.2 Mg CO2-eq per ha and year for organic PS. The results of this study emphasize the importance of a complete life-cycle assessment in the evaluation of impacts that dairy PS have on the climate. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010.

Salhofer K.,TU Munich | Tribl C.,Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics | Sinabell F.,Austrian Institute of Economic Research WIFO
Empirica | Year: 2012

An increasing market concentration in food retailing has generated concerns about the market power of retailers towards consumers and input suppliers. This is especially true for countries such as Austria, which has a CR-3 in food retailing greater than 75%. Based on a New Empirical Industrial Organization model we estimate the market power of food retailers towards consumers and input suppliers with respect to three groups of dairy products (drinking milk, cheese, butter including others). Our empirical results suggest that market power of retailing exists towards consumers (in particular in the case of drinking milk) and towards input suppliers (in particular in the case of butter and other milk products). Market power is more significant (in statistical terms) downstream than upstream. However, the impact of oligopsony power on input prices is stronger than the impact of oligopoly power on consumer prices. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Quendler E.,Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics | Lamb M.,Polymer and Environmental Center
International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning | Year: 2016

The consideration of learning as a lifelong process is paramount when trying to bring about a change in the values and attitudes of the workforce and society towards a sustainable development. Education bodies and employers are beginning to be aware of the need for training in the manifold aspects of sustainable development. The aim of this paper is to give an indication of: (1) the discussion around the concept of education for sustainable development along with an extensive background on the notions behind it in relation to employability, learning as a lifelong process and our capability to act and (2) how the needs of the labour market regarding competences, skills and knowledge for sustainable development can be made transparent in order to adjust not only to higher education in the field of life sciences but also the aspects of the lifelong learning process. © Copyright 2016 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

Pinter M.,Risk Management and Value Chain | Kirner L.,Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics
Land Use Policy | Year: 2014

The decline in the number of farms, seen as one of the main dimensions of agricultural structural change, is presumed to predominantly take place in areas with farming difficulties, such as the disadvantaged European Alpine mountain regions. Especially regarding dairy farms, facing profound changes due to pending EU policy reforms, many questions remain unanswered concerning structural change patterns. This paper presents a follow-up qualitative study that for the first time visualizes a pattern of farm household strategies among Austrian dairy farmers in a specific particularly disadvantaged mountain region. The pattern contains disengaging farms, professionalizing farms, and three differing types of stable reproduction farms. The examination shows that this revealed typology provides a suitable framework for the ex ante indication of agricultural structural change. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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