SR094: Standard Gross Margins in Austria

Calculation and estimation of input use by agriculture

Karl M. Ortner, Hubert Janetschek, Martin Kniepert

To make it easier to analyse the structural characteristics and economic results of farms of different types, a classification or "typology" of farms has been developed ( Commission Decision 85/377/EEC of 7 June 1985, published in OJ L 220 of 17 August 1985) and amended several times, most recently in OJ L291 of 11 November 1999 (Commission Decision 1999/725/EC).
The typology may be applied to data from the Farm Structure Survey (FSS) or Community statistical censuses as weil as to data from the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN). lt thus constitutes a link between these sources of information. The Community typology of agricultural holdings is based on type of farming and economic size, two elements which are based on the standard gross margins of the various types of agricultural roduction. The "standard gross margin", or SGM, is the balance between the standard value of output and the standard value of certain direct costs, i.e. by convention the proportional (variable) costs which can easily be linked to this output. The SGM is expressed in monetary terms per hectare of utilised agricultural area in the case of crop farming or per head of livestock in the case of livestock farming. Member States calculate regional SGM coefficients for each farming category as average values over a reference period. The "economic size of a holding" is the value of its total standard gross margin. This is the sum of the individual standard gross margins of each farming category on the holding, expressed as a European Size Unit (ESU'). Since Commission Decision 99/725/EC of 22 October 1999, the holdings have been classified into ten economic size classes. The "type of farming on a holding" is the production system of a holding which is characterised by the relative contribution of different enterprises to the holding's total standard gross margin. Depending on the amount of detail required, there are three overlapping levels of type of farming: 9 general types, 17 principal types and 50 particular types.

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