Slower Migration and Investment Boom in the Agricultural Sector in Spite of Income Losses. Agriculture and Forestry in the Länder in 1997
According to preliminary findings of the agricultural and forestry accounts, agricultural production achieved a slight increase in volume in 1997, which corresponds approximately to the medium-term trend. A good market for timber raised the farm price index by 2.5 percent. Increased supply and higher prices boosted the final production value as well as the gross value added in agriculture and forestry by 2.5 percent, respectively. Incomes from farming and forestry (contribution to the national income) nevertheless declined by about 4 percent compared to the previous year. The main cause of this loss was a reduction of direct payments to agricultural operations. In 1997, direct payments totaled ATS 20.5 billion, about ATS 2.2 billion or one tenth less than in 1996. Higher earnings from production did not fully compensate for the cuts. If direct payments had remained unchanged, 1997 would have been a good year for farmers, with above-average growth rates in earnings and incomes. In 1997, regional effects had an unusually high impact on final agricultural output in the Länder. Most notable were the huge differences in their timber harvests and timber market positions, which produced extreme variations in earnings from forestry. Unusually great differences were also found in the wine harvests. Differences in the production structure, on the other hand, were less important for the final output than in most of the previous years. The best result in terms of final agricultural production (final output) – a plus of 12.3 percent over 1996 – was recorded by the agricultural and forestry operations in Salzburg. Above-average performances were also achieved in Burgenland, Carinthia, Tyrol and Vorarlberg, where growth rates ranged between 5 percent and 8 percent. The extremely high growth rate of Salzburg and the excellent results in Tyrol and Vorarlberg originated in an explosive growth of earnings from forestry. Carinthia similarly profited from the timber market situation, thanks to its abundance of woods, although timber cuts were slightly lower. In Burgenland, the growth was fueled by the recovery of the wine-growing business and better earnings from forestry. In Upper Austria (+2.5 percent), an above-average growth in earnings from forestry and crop farming was partly absorbed by losses from cattle and dairy farming, which is a major factor in that region. In Styria (–0.2 percent), the final agricultural output stagnated at the previous year's level, after two en-suite years of above-average growth. Higher earnings from crop farming and animal husbandry were reduced by losses from forestry, since timber harvesting had been substantially reduced. In Lower Austria and Vienna, the output remained just below the previous year's rates (–0.9 percent). In both Länder, the modest result was mostly due to a failure of the wine crop. In Lower Austria, it was compounded by stagnating earnings from animal husbandry and a significant reduction of the timber harvest which depressed additional earnings. In 1997, direct payments to farms were lower than in the previous year in all Länder with the exception of Vorarlberg, where farmers profited from the newly introduced "environmental allowance". In Vienna, direct payments, at 5.8 percent, were unusually low compared to the final output. The market gardens were especially affected by the scheduled reduction of degressive compensation payments. In the other Länder, direct payments ranged from 30 percent (Styria) to 58 percent (Tyrol) of the final output at market prices. Such substantial regional differences in the level and development of direct payments derive primarily from the production structure of the region, its categorization and resultant aid level, and on the rate of farm participation in various programs, especially the Environmental Programme.
Sinkende Abwanderung, Investitionsboom im Agrarsektor trotz Einkommensverlusten. Entwicklung der Land- und Forstwirtschaft 1997 in den Bundesländern; Slower Migration and Investment Boom in the Agricultural Sector in Spite of Income Losses. Agriculture an
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