Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

L. Kirner:

Development Tendencies in the Austrian Dairy Sector at the Farm Level –Survey of Farmers and Farm Wifes


Austrian dairy enterprises are small in international comparison; the bulk of them is located in mountainous areas. With increasing liberalization in agriculture competition is becoming more fierce. The aim of the present study is to explore, given this background, what measures farm managers who hold dairy cows intend to undertake in the future and what development will occur from their responses. The study informs on selected characteristics of the farms and their managers, what they intend to do and what impedes the development of their businesses. In order to obtain the desired information, questionnaires were sent to 3.000 dairy farms in April 2002, the following results are based on 1.300 returned questionnaires. In respect of the intentions for milk production it turned out that about one third of the farm managers plan to produce or sell more milk until 2008, about half of them the same quantity and the rest less or nothing at all. A growth strategy is considered particularly on bigger and more specialized enterprises; however,
the business development is impeded by high prices for milk quotas. Key words: milk production, survey, change of structure, farm development, farmers and farm wifes.