From "Reports on Agriculture", October 2003

Prospects for the European farming and food industries after the expansion of the European Union to the East - report on the 42nd annual meeting of the Society for Economic and Social Sciences in Agriculture (GEWISOLA) in Halle in 2002 -

Heinz Ahrens, Michael Grings, Michael Harth, Volker Petersen, Halle (Saale)

This article provides a general résumé of 42 talks and 16 poster presentations given at the 42nd annual meeting of the Gesellschaft für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften des Landbaues e.V. (Society for Economic and Social Sciences in Agriculture) (GEWISOLA) in Halle. The overall topic of the meeting was "Prospects for the European Farming and Food Industries after the Expansion of the European Union to the East" - a topic of great relevance in view of the fact that this expansion is already due to begin in 2004 and will have far-reaching consequences for the farming and food industries in both the old and the new member states, and also for other countries. The contributions addressed questions regarding the implications of this expansion of the EU to the East from the viewpoint of the member and prospective member states, farm policy and markets, rural development, and the development of institutions and environmental resources, and also questions relating to busine ss management and international aspects of the future form to be adopted by the farm and food industries. Within the framework of the meeting a special event was held to honour agricultural economists persecuted and expelled during the period of Nazi rule.

Progress in milk performance - the prerequisites and driving forces for individual farms according to data obtained from North German intensive dairying farms

Klaus Walter und István Heinrich, Braunschweig

Income from the sale of milk now accounts for over 80 per cent of the total income from milk production. Of vital importance for securing the income from this branch of the industry is improvement in performance, especially when falling milk prices and their associated reductions in income are to be expected.

Data from farms in the Federal Research Institute for Agriculture (FAL) "Arbeitskreis Forschung und Praxis" (Study Group Research and Practice) serve as the basis for elucidating the development of milk performance using process-specific key numbers. Computation and comparison of paths taken by development disclose long-term interactions.

The rise in milk performance per cow (amount sold) in these farms was just under 1500 kilogramme per cow. At the same time it proved possible to raise the performance achieved from basic ration to 1300 kilogramme. In the period under review, the amount of concentrate per cow dropped from 22 to 20 decimal ton per cow and year, and cannot have caused the improvement in milk performance.

There are many key numbers, such as age at first calving, renovation of production plants, stall form (tied stall or loose stall), labour status (family farm or one using hired labour) or free grazing (in comparison to zero-grazing), for which no uniform links to performance development can be derived.

Expenditure on veterinary surgeons and medication rise with the milk yield. However, successful farm managers will succeed in improving performance whilst holding expenditure on health preservation (almost) constant, thus breaking this unfavourable trend.

The level of expenditure for insemination and the farm´s own breeding bulls is taken here as an indicator of progress in breeding. The results indicate broad accord between the development of this item of expenditure and progress in performance.

The development of the energy content of maize-, and especially of grass-silage is almost congruent with the increase in milk performance. The remaining basic rations, and in particular the catch crops, are clearly of less importance for milk performance.

Consumption of medicinal substances for the medication of live-stock in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

Sören Thiele-Bruhn, Andreas Mogk and Dirk Freitag, Rostock

The administration of medicines and especially of antibiotic active substances to livestock and the resulting input of pharmaceuticals into the environment was estimated for the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. For this purpose, orders of production and prescriptions for pharmacenticals in feed were evaluated for the period from October 2000 until September 2001. From a total of 2097 prescriptions for pharmacenticals in feed 90 % were designated for pigs. In total, 16 tons of medicinal active substances including 10 tons of antibiotic active substances and mostly tetracyclines and sulfonamides, were consumed. Thereby, it is assumed that two-thirds of this amount were administered as pharmacenticals in feed and one-third was directly prescribed for pigs, poultry and calves, respectively. Predicted environmental concentrations in manure and soils were calculated from the amounts of administered active substances by the use of a balancing model. On average, 9 (3 - 14) gramme of antibiotics and 13 (4 - 23) gramme of medicinal substances, respectively, were administered per hectare of agricultural land in 12 districts of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Due to the application of veterinary medicines, residual concentrations are found in manure especially from poultry. Concentrations ranging from 0.04 to 15 milligramme kilogramme per litre were estimated. Manure application on agricultural soils would result in soil concentrations of 1.8 (0.8 - 2.6) gramme kilogramme per 1itre of tetracyclines and of 0.7 (0.2 - 1.3) gramme kilogramme per litre of sulfonamides, when degradation processes are considered. These small residual concentrations are well below the trigger value of 100 gramme kilogramme per litre according to European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMEA) and were confirmed by laboratory analysis of selected soil samples. Despite manure also dust from animal housing was identified as a source of medicinal substances in the environment.

Maturity of maize whole-plant and voting of corn hybrids after measure - Optimal maturity of maize whole-plant and constant animal production through leading the maize culture before harvesting by means of measurement of corn maturity

Reinhard Amler, Angersdorf

  • With the grain-oven-dry mass-content can the time of harvesting, maximum of the yield and the quality of corn plant more exactly and thereby with least material and temporal expense in comparison to the oven-dry mass-content of the whole plant of different corn plant population are determined. The optimum for ensiling and the maximum of the yield are with the physiological maturity of whole plant next to identical and lie with the grain-oven-dry mass-content of 65 % in the beginning stage of the maize corn.
  • The harvesting of the whole corn plant on the basis of the oven-dry mass-content of the whole plant can lead to maturity in the grain of under 55 % and/or to insufficient concentration of starche and energy in the whole plant material. The oven-dry mass-content of the whole maize plant is at a certain maturity of corn and/or of starche only expression of the aging of the plant without cobs. For the improvement of the quality are higher cutting and/or feeding of concentrates the consequence in the practice.
  • The plant without cobs takes beside the grain a strong influence on the oven-dry mass-content of the whole plant. At oven-dry mass-contents of the plant without cobs over 30 % should be explored the feeding value, before everything from mykotoxikological view. On these locations the crop is to be accomplished already before reaching the optimum of maturity and of maximum of yield. Therefore hybrids with a long harvesting time should be grown in the future only, which store intensely starche and display a high digestibility of plant cell wall at slowly drying of the plant without cubs.
  • The Körnerreifezahl (KRZ) is for the declaration of a sort in a maturity group better than the Siloreifezahl (SRZ) and the grain-oven-dry mass-content than maturity for all using in the production of maize suitable.

New cultivation methods of Miscanthus in Europe

Ralf Pude, Bonn

There are enormous possibilities for industrial uses of Miscanthus in Europe, for example as a construction material and as a source of energy (18; 19). For that reason, there is a high demand for the raw material Miscanthus from the industry. In the next years in Great Britain the cultivation of Miscanthus will reach 10.000 ha, in Switzerland it will be 3.000 ha. Also in Germany the cultivation of Miscanthus increases in Bavaria and North-Rhine-Westphalia (3; 19; 20).

Miscanthus is an tropical plant which is not adapted to the north and middle European climate. Earlier experiments showed, that cultivation under harsh environmental conditions, for example cold temperatures in winter, was difficult (5; 7).

The results of this trial with different genotypes and propagation methods shows, that it is possible to cultivate this tropical plant in Europe. In this trial the establishment of different micro- and macropropagated genotypes on not optimal conditions of location was observed. Planting of micropropagated plants in 1997 (single-, double- or multiple sprouted preparation) revealed, that the selection of multiple sprouted plants by breeding methods and in the autumn matured genotypes are necessary for a good establishment. The cultivation of macropropagated Miscanthus was tested with different rhizome sizes (finger to fist sizes) and different genotypes. The planting time was in autumn 1999 and in spring 2000. Rhizome sizes affected growth of Miscanthus significantly, while there was no difference of growth or resistance to cold temperatures between the different genotypes. By planting in autumn the shatting rate of Miscanthus was only 1.4 % when rhizomes are large in comparison to 64.8 %, when rhizomes are small. Experiments on cultivation in spring showed a low shatting rate of 6.7 % both with big and small rhizomes. In opposite to some references in the literature our cultivation trial have shown that growth of Miscanthus was possible under sub optimal conditions in regard to different factors, such as cultivation methods, genotypes and planting time.

Importance and development of part-time farming - the example of the federal state of Baden-Württemberg/ Germany

Ruth Schwenninger und Reiner Doluschitz, Stuttgart

Part-time farming enterprises play an important role in highly diversified agro-industrial systems within the Federal Republic of Germany. Farm surveys were conducted in 400 enterprises in 2001. Two regions within the federal state of Baden-Württemberg were selected, one with stronger industrial importance (200 farms), one with lower industrial importance (200 farms). Part-time farms in the stronger industrial region are characterized by smaller land resources, higher production intensity, and better non-agricultural employment opportunities.

Major results indicate that part-time farmers in general make rational decisions. Part-time also are seen as persistent enterprises by the owners or managers respectively and not as a preparation of closing downs of the businesses. Long lasting family traditions and joy within farming are two major motivators of persistence of part-time farms.

Life Cycle Assessment for trading of regional and supraregional food stuff - A comparison of different marketing structures

Martin Demmeler und Alois Heißenhuber, Freising-Weihenstephan

The extending trade with agricultural products and food stuff has, caused by the transport of these goods, an increasing effect on the environment and human health. To analyse the effects of transport on regional, national, European and global level a life cycle assessment model for trading is developed. On this basis the life cycle assessment of a supraregional standard basket is elaborated. In contrast the routes of transportation of a regional standard basket, based on the range of food stuffs of a retail enterprise, are captured in a life cycle assessment. The regional standard basket causes merely a third to half of the damage to the environment in each category of effects, compared to the supraregional standard basket. The potentials to reduce these effects can be seen in direct correlation to the trade structure of the investigated enterprise. The negative effects on the environment can be diminished if the efficiency of the means of transport is increased or the distances of transporting are reduced. As the investigated example illustrates, the regional trade with food stuff and agricultural products offers a large potential for a reduced usage of resources and the protection of the environment. Through co-operation with the food retail trade this potential could be acquired by many regional initiatives as well.

Entre Rios - Historical Review and developmental Account on the cooperative Organization Agrária Mista Entre Rios Ltda. of the Danubian Swabians in Paraná / Brazil with special Emphasis on German Aid -

Wolfram Ruhenstroth-Bauer, Gauting

After the second world war the Danubian Swabians originating from the south-western regions in Germany had lost their ancestral settlements along the median shores of the river Danube which they had cultivated since the 18th century. With the assistance of charity organizations from Austria and Switzerland, 500 families of Danubian Swabian descent were resettled in 1951 with the objective to farm the high plane of Guarapuava, Parana, Brazil.

The cooperative organization of the settlers initially resulted into modest gains that were not sufficient to sustain the economic and social needs of their communities. It was only in 1968 when the allocation of funds from the German development aid for the purchase of threshing-machines and fertilizers gradually led to sustainable development within these settlements. Eventually the newly generated resources based on ever growing yields of wheat, soya beans and maize were utilized in the extension of arable land for each farmer, the implementation of agri-industrial projects and the built-up of a co-operative social community capable to provide significant inputs in medicare, education, utilities and infrastructure.

The grant of German development aid to the Danubian Swabians in Parana, Brazil has provoked the mobilization of their self-reliant and inherent resources and caused the extension of cooperative structures emphasizing the principle of "help to help yourself".

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