Skip to main content

European farmers want to invest

Chart of the month (October/2018)

In almost all countries, the proportion of farmers planning investments for the coming 12 months has risen compared to the previous year. The increase is between + 2% (in Germany) and + 14% (in the Netherlands). Only in Poland there is slight uncertainty. The willingness to invest declines at a high level by 1%; The proportion of farmers who are still uncertain in their planning, however, is significantly higher than in the other countries.

Germany: readiness to invest remains high

Since the fall of 2016, the willingness of German farmers to invest has recovered and is currently rising to 45% of respondents. She has reached the level of spring 2015 again.

The main reasons for investing include: increasing labor productivity, catching up with deferred investment, expanding existing production and increasing impact in order to achieve the best agricultural management time in the agricultural sector.

This results in different emphases in the consideration of the individual branches of operation. The increase of labor productivity and the recovery of deferred investments is the main objective of investments in dairy farms. For market crop farms, the goal is to expand existing production. As a reason for their investments, the pig farmers mainly indicate an increase in clout in order to achieve the best agricultural management measures in the agricultural sector.

France: Increase in willingness to invest at a low level

Although the willingness to invest shows a further increase of 6% compared to the previous year, it still remains low in European comparison at 30%. Above all, the investments should increase labor productivity and increase the efficiency of the farms in order to achieve the best agricultural management measures in the agricultural sector. Other important investment reasons are the implementation of legal requirements and the recovery of deferred investments.

At 40%, the willingness of pig farmers to invest is above average, while dairy farmers and market crop producers remain below the country average. The main focus of pet owners is the construction of dairy cattle sheds, feeding technology and the modernization of stables for the implementation of animal welfare requirements. In the market fruit farms, investments will mainly be made in tillage technology.

Poland: mild uncertainty, especially among pig farmers

The willingness of Polish farmers to invest remains at a high level, even though there is some uncertainty, especially among pig farmers. Overall, almost 50% of respondents want to invest farmers. This peak is surpassed only by British farmers. The main purpose of the investments is to expand production and increase labor productivity, thereby reducing the productivity gap in Polish agriculture.

An important factor influencing the willingness to invest, especially for pig farming, is the development of outbreaks of African swine fever (ASP). Affected farmers are expected to face restrictions, while pig farmers who are unaffected benefit from emerging supply gaps. The Polish dairy farmers are particularly interested in investing. They are planning investments to increase productivity and milk yield and increase competitiveness.

UK: High investment readiness across all sectors

Compared to last autumn's survey, British farmers' investment propensity in the fall of 2018 is 12 percent higher. Both market crop farms and dairy cattle and pig farmers want to make significantly more investments. With an investment propensity of 60 per cent, the dairy farmers occupy the top position.

The British government's announcement that direct payments will continue for the next two years provides stability, even in the face of anticipated market turmoil caused by a possible harsh Brexit. Investments in the UK are focused on expanding production and increasing labor productivity. Planned investments in digitization and in higher productivity in agriculture are also to be seen under the aspect of productivity. Furthermore, expenditures are planned in order to realize specifications, especially in the environmental area.

Netherlands: Farmers catch up with deferred investments

The willingness of farmers to invest has increased significantly compared to the previous year. The future-oriented farmers want to set up technically for the next few years. The willingness to invest is now at the level of Poland with a growth of 14% and is only surpassed by the British farmers. In the fall of 2018, if every third farmer surveyed wanted to invest, almost every second Dutch farmer plans to invest in his business.

The companies use the satisfactory business situation to postpone investment. Other important investment reasons include the expansion of production and the implementation of legal requirements. Pig keepers are the most adventurous, while dairy farmers and market crop producers are below the country average. The focus is on new tillage technology, pig stables, barn modernization and feeding technology.

DLG-Agrifuture Insights is the new DLG knowledge brand and platform for international trend analysis in the agricultural sector. It examines the business environment in agriculture and agribusiness through a global panel of 1,650 leading farmers in 11 countries. Every month, DLG-Agrifuture Insights publishes a "Chart of the Month" from the extensive range of development trends in the international agricultural markets.