ifoam'96 ifoam'96
Book of Abstracts
11th IFOAM Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996, Copenhagen, Denmark
EcoWeb Denmark


Economic Impacts of Conversion to Organic Farming. P3; 51

Nieberg, H.

Institute of Farm Economics of the Federal Agricultural Research Centre (FAL), D-38116 Braunschweig

The Institute of Farm Economics of the FAL monitors 107 farms which have started conversion to organic farming in the crop year 1990/91. The objective is to identify the economic impacts of conversion to organic farming on different farm types. The selected 107 farms are scattered all over the territory of former West Germany. They represent 7.7% of all farms which have started organic farming in 1990/91. These farms have been visited and monitored annually in spring since 1991. After four years of organic farming, a wide variety of changes in the farms can be observed. Because organic farming prohibits the use of chemical inputs, crop rotation and the cropping of legumes gain more importance. Furthermore, the land use system depends strongly on the marketing possibilities of organically grown products. Livestock numbers show a declining trend. On the other hand, labor requirements are increasing. In crop production, the yields decrease strongly. At this point in time, higher prices can only be realized for plant products. Overheads increased only slightly during the study period. The conversion to organic farming has led to positive income effects for the majority of farms. However, the profitability of organic farming depends largely on the extensification premium and the marketing possibilities for organic products.

Schulze Pals, L. (1994): Oekonomische Analyse der Umstellung auf oekologischen Landbau. Landwirtschaftsverlag Muenster.

Nieberg, H. & Schulze Pals, L. (1996): Profitability of Farms Converting to Organic Farming in Germany - Empirical Results of 107 Farms. Farm Management, 9 (5), 218-227.