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Crop diversity and stability of revenue on farms in Central Europe : an analysis of big data from a comprehensive agricultural census in Bavaria

Title data

Weigel, Robert ; Koellner, Thomas ; Poppenborg, Patrick ; Bogner, Christina:
Crop diversity and stability of revenue on farms in Central Europe : an analysis of big data from a comprehensive agricultural census in Bavaria.
In: PLoS One. Vol. 13 (19 November 2018) Issue 11 . - No. e0207454.
ISSN 1932-6203
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0207454

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Abstract in another language

Diversity of agricultural landscapes is important to maintain the provision of ecosystem services. In face of decreasing support measures for agricultural markets in the European Union, diversified crop portfolios could also offer a possibility to stabilize revenue at farm level (portfolio effect). We hypothesize that (i) diversity of crop portfolios changes along spatial gradients in the study area (Bavaria, Germany), (ii) the composition of portfolios depends on farm parameters, and (iii) more diverse portfolios on arable land provide higher revenue stability. We analysed agricultural census data comprising all farms (N = 105 314) in the study area and identified 26 typical crop portfolios. We show that portfolio composition is related to farm characteristics (whole farm revenue, farm type, farm size) and location. Currently, diversification of crop portfolios fails to promote stability of portfolio revenue in the study area, where policy still indirectly influences market prices of energy crops. We conclude that the portfolio effect as a natural insurance was less important in recent years due to high market prices for specific crops. This low need for natural insurances probably favoured simplified portfolios leading to decreased agricultural diversity.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER148615
Keywords: Central Europe: Bavaria; Agricultur; Agricultural census
Institutions of the University: Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Ecological Modelling
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professorship Ecological Services
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professorship Ecological Services > Professorship Ecological Services - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Köllner
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2018 15:08
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2019 13:51
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/46418