Research Projects and Topics
- 1.) Efficiency Analysis in Organic Farming in Germany
As in other farming systems organic farms rely on an efficient use of inputs and natural resources. Scarce inputs are in general an important incentive for the improvement of efficiency, but the scarcity of certain inputs is different in organic farming systems. Nitrogen in the ground has to be used in an efficient way since mineral nitrogen-fertilizers are not allowed (Hess 1997). Also the purchase of feed-stuff is limited and therefore scarce. The stronger dependence of natural resources might lead to a wider distribution of efficiency scores (as in Kumbhakar et al. 2009). All these factors seem to justify an in depth research on the structure and determinants of technical efficiency in organic farming systems.
- 2.) Structural Change in Organic Farming
Farm development and structural change in organic farming might have different dynamics than in conventional farming. We investigate the structural and socio-economic determinants of farm-growth of organic farms. Furthermore, we investigate how structural change influence the market for organic products. And we investigate whether we can empirically show a tendency towards 'conventionalization' in Germany.
- 3.) Analyzing the impacts of Greening and Ecological Focus Area (EFA)
The reform of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has introduced a new environmental policy with the 'Greening of Direct Payments'. The objective of different projects and cooperations is the analysis of economic and ecological impacts of the greening-measures. There are some doubts about efficiency and effectiveness of the the specific greening-measures: Especially the protection of sensitive grassland will probably have almost no ecological effects. Farm-diversification will only affect about 10% of the German farms subject to greening, mainly biogas-farms. The focus of the analysis is therefore on the Ecological Focus Area (EFA), which might offer the greatest potential to support biodiversity. We also investigate the determinants for farmers decisions which EFA-option to choose on their farm. There are different analysis addressing the decision behavior of famers.