BAB 058/22: Feed Balance

With the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, weaknesses in the Austrian and global economic system became apparent. The COVID-19 Lessons learnt research project was therefore initiated with the aim of creating evidence to ensure that the Covid-19 pandemic can be overcome in agriculture and forestry. The COVID-19 Lessons learnt research project consisted of 16 sub-projects, 14 of which have already been completed. The feed balance sub-project is now being continued as an independent BAB research project.

Feed is the most important input in Austrian agriculture. In 2019, a total of € 1.5 billion of the € 4.3 billion in intermediate inputs was spent on animal feed. To illustrate the order of magnitude: Energy, the second most important input, was demanded to the tune of €0.4 billion. Around a third of animal feed (calculated in values) is produced by the agricultural sector itself.

Statistics on the production and use of animal feed are published annually at federal level in Austria, the feed balance. It is compiled by the HBLFA-Raumberg-Gumpenstein in cooperation with Statistics Austria. Due to technological change, it is necessary to adapt and update the previously used method. One aim of the project is to systematically present the value chains of Austrian agriculture and to show the regional dimension separately where this is objectively justified and possible.
As the feed balance is currently only available at federal level, there is a lack of information on the most important input of Austrian agriculture at regional level.In the work package of the COVID 19 - Lessions learnt project "LW - Regional Inputs", which was completed in 2021, the intermediate consumption of agricultural activities is calculated at regional level (NUTS 3).To ensure that the allocation is correct, the feed balance should be available at the same level. This ensures that factor input (labor, land, capital), intermediate consumption (feed and other) and output (agricultural goods and services) are available in the form of consistent methods.


  • To update the Austrian feed balance method and improve processes.
  • Development of a regionalization method and a prototype for an example region with heterogeneous livestock farming.
  • Validation of the results and comparison of top-down and bottom-up.
  • Documentation of the results and creation of outputs

Work steps

Adaptation of the existing method to the changed circumstances
The feed balance is currently being compiled by Statistics Austria in cooperation with HBLFA Raumberg-Gumpenstein. The method used for this was originally developed at BOKU and is created in an iterative process. The result is presented in concise figures for Austria as a whole. Detailed results for the most important nutrients and all relevant livestock species are made available for research purposes. The aim of work step 1 is to adapt the method to the current state of the art and to improve the organizational processes.  

2. Development of a prototype of the regionalized feed balance
In this step, a prototype for a regional feed balance is created. The regional unit is a representative NUTS 3 region. The approach corresponds to the method of the national feed balance, taking into account region-specific characteristics. For this purpose, the results of farms keeping accounts at NUTS 3 level are used.    Upscaling: Calculation of the feed balance at regional level and provision of differentiated data

3. Upscaling: Calculation of the feed balance at regional level and provision of differentiated data
At HBLFA Raumberg-Gumpenstein, calculations of material and nutrient flows were carried out at farm and small regional level, i.e. at a disaggregated level. Evaluations of these calculations are compared with the results from step 2 in order to validate the method of regionalization using a top-down procedure. From the comparison, conclusions can be drawn about the significance of the results of the two methods.

4. Completion of the documentation
In this step, the outputs specified in the work plan are completed.    These include written texts, a data set and presentations.The presentations have two target groups: the team of researchers and the client together with the people involved.

Planned outputs

Prototype of the regionalised feed balance incl. documentation

Work carried out 2021

No project-specific data, as the data required for regional feed balancing was not transmitted to the BAB by Agrar-Markt Austria due to data protection concerns. Preparatory work for the legal basis for transmitting the data to the BAB (e.g. Ag-rarMarktTransparenz-Verordnung and MarktOrdnungsGesetz).

Work carried out in 2022 and 2023

No project-specific, as no time resources were available for the crisis team in the BML due to the Ukraine crisis and the associated work.

Planned work 2024

Due to other priority projects (e.g. ROBVEK), work had to be postponed. Depending on the availability of the necessary data, implementation to achieve the project objectives will start in 2024. Due to the scope of the project, the end of the project will be postponed to 2025.


Project start: 03/2020
Project end: 12/2025

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