The economic environment and outlook for Europe's farmers has improved. A research into farmers' current situations and their expected business developments showed that both in Eastern and in Western Europe, positive thinking is key.
The figures were made public at a press conference in Göttingen, Germany, paving the way for the biannual Eurotier show, to be held in Hanover, Germany, 16-19 November 2010. The so-called Trendmonitor Europe is conducted every half year and was set up by the German Agricultural Society (DLG), together with German agricultural market research institute, the Kleffmann Group.
Dr Reinhard Grandke, general executive manager of the DLG, presented the outcome of the survey, held in the last two weeks, which included about 3,500 farmers in the Czech Republic, France, Germany Hungary, Poland and the United Kingdom. In both Eastern and Western Europe, expectations are said to be positive after two years of pessimism (mid-2007 to mid-2009).
Improvements in comparison with the survey in spring 2010 were ascertained both in the assessment of the current situation and in expected business developments. Inclination to invest is stable in Germany, where every second farmer has investment plans.
UK and France
In France and the United Kingdom especially, the improved economic climate is leading to investment plans growing by comparison with spring 2010. In the Czech Republic investment is focusing on animal husbandry for the first time. In total, 45% of the farmers questioned, plan to invest in animal production. By contrast, despite improved expectations of business development, the inclination of Polish and Hungarian farmers to invest can be classified as relatively reserved.
The trendmonitor further showed that there has been a shift in investment projects in comparison with the spring survey in Germany. The core farming branches of farmyard work and field operations have moved back into focus more in comparison with the last surveys, while bioenergy is slowing down slightly.
Farmers are thus taking changes in the price/cost relations in agricultural product prices due to the capricious weather conditions prevailing this summer into account.
In comparison to other countries, however, German farmers show a tendency for willing to invest in bioenergy (26%), whereas in Poland (4%) or France (10%) this is less.
• German Agricultural Society (DLG)