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Self-assessment of the economic situation of agricultural enterprises in Germany

How do agricultural businesses assess their economic situation? With this "Chart of the Month" from DLG-Agrifuture Insights, we present the first results of the 2023/24 winter survey.

As part of the current Agrifuture Insights study, farmers were asked from November 2023 to the beginning of January 2024 to assess the economic situation of their business. The figures for arable farmers and dairy farmers are down on the previous year (PY), while pig farmers assess the situation slightly more positively. However, many of them are planning to exit the sector.

Chart of the Month

Self-assessment of the economic situation of agricultural enterprises in Germany

Arable farmers and dairy farmers rate their profitability in the middle range.

The slightly poorer assessment of the economic situation of arable farmers compared to the previous year's survey is probably due to lower market crop prices.

In the case of dairy farmers, in many cases existing good feed contracts expired last year. Combined with a difficult forage situation and a poor milk price, this resulted in a very poor economic result for them last year. Accordingly, the profitability of the farm (PY: 2.6), stability (PY: 2.2) and liquidity (PY: 2.3) were rated better by the participants last year.

A comparison with the 2022/23 survey shows that pig farmers see their profitability as significantly better this year (compared to 3.4 in the previous year). The other key figures as well as the general business situation and future business development were also rated significantly better by pig farmers this time. This reflects the fact that the last financial year was the most successful in the last 15 to 20 years, especially for the hard-hit piglet production sector. At the same time, however, a quarter of pig farmers stated in the current survey that they were planning to exit pig farming in order to meet the challenges facing pig farms.

DLG-Agrifuture Insights – a comprehensive view on agricultural development

DLG-Agrifuture Insights is the DLG knowledge brand and platform for international trend analyses in the agricultural sector. It examines the business environment in agriculture in Germany and worldwide. For this purpose, farmers and people from agribusiness, science and consulting are surveyed annually on their assessments of the economic situation and development of agricultural businesses, as well as technology trends and innovations in the individual business sectors. A total of 3,336 people took part in the current survey in winter 2023/24, around 1,300 of them from abroad.