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Effect of off farm income, farm size, natural disadvantage and farming system on the sustainability of dairy farming in Austria - An empirical approach on the basis of farm accountancy data



Effect of off farm income, farm size, natural disadvantage and farming system on the sustainability of dairy farming in Austria - An empirical approach on the basis of farm accountancy data



Berichte ueber Landwirtschaft 85(2): 195-213



This contribution investigates if off farm income, farm size, natural disadvantage and the farming system affect the sustainability of dairy farming in Austria. This question is examined by using sustainability indicators from the farm accountancy data network (FADN) of the year 2003. The results show that bigger holdings and organic farms obtained a higher income from agriculture and forestry than smaller holdings and conventional farms. With regard to ecological sustainability, smaller holdings, mountain farms and organic farms tended to provide greater environmental services per unit of agricultural land. In contrast, larger farms, non-mountain farms and conventional farms showed better values for certain environmental indicators when these were related to the produced output. This result can be explained by the so called "efficiency problem" of smaller holdings, mountain farms and organic farms. The general question as to whether sustainability indicators which are related to agricultural area or produced output are preferable cannot be answered by the analysis in hand. This decision predominantly depends on societal values and goals.

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