BAB 058/22: Feed Balance

Initial situation

With the spread of the Covid 19 pandemic in March 2020, weaknesses in the Austrian and global economic systems became apparent. The research project COVID-19 Lessons learnt was therefore initiated to create evidence to ensure the management of the Covid-19 pandemic 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 research project of the BAB.
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 feed. To illustrate the orders of magnitude: Energy, the second most important input, was demanded to the tune of € 0.4 billion. About one third of the feed (calculated in values) is produced by the agricultural sector itself.
In Austria, statistics on the production and use of feed are published annually at federal level, the feed balance. It is compiled by HBLFA-Raumberg-Gumpenstein in cooperation with Statistics Austria. Due to technological change, it is necessary to adapt and update the method used so far.
One aim of the project is to systematically present the value chains of Austrian agriculture and, in doing so, to show the regional dimension separately, insofar as this is objectively justified and possible. As the feed balance is currently only available at the federal level, information on the most important input of Austrian agriculture at the regional level is missing.
In the research project AP BAB_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 at the same level. This ensures that factor inputs (labour, land, capital), intermediate inputs (feed and others) and output (agricultural goods and services) are in the form of consistent methods.


- Updating the method of the Austrian feed balance and improving the processes.
- Development of a method of regionalisation and a prototype for an example region with heterogeneous animal husbandry.
- Validation of the results and comparison top-down and bottom-up.
- Documentation of the results and production of the outputs

Work steps

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

2. Development of a prototype of the regionalised feed balance sheet
In this step a prototype for a regional feed balance is developed. 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 accounting holdings at NUTS 3 level are used. 3.

3. Upscaling: Calculation of the feed balance at regional level and provision of the differentiated data
At HBLFA Raumberg-Gumpenstein calculations of material and nutrient flows were carried out at farm or small regional level, i.e. at disaggregated level. Evaluations of these calculations are compared with the results from work step 2 in order to validate the method of regionalisation according to 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 planned in the work plan are completed. These include written texts, a data set and finally presentations. The presentations have two target groups: the team of researchers and the clients together with the persons involved.

Planned outputs

Prototype of the regionalised feed balance incl. documentation

Work carried out 2021

No project-specific work, as the data required for a regional feed balance was not transmitted to the BAB by Agrar Markt Austria due to data protection concerns. Preparatory work for the legal basis for the transmission of data to the BAB (e.g. Agricultural Market Transparency Ordinance and Market Order Act).

Work carried out in 2022

No project-specific work, as no working time resources were available due to the Ukraine crisis and the associated work for the crisis team in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management.

Planned work 2023

After completion of the ROBVEK project, work will be resumed. The end of the project will therefore be postponed to 2024.


Project start: 03/2020
Project end: 12/2024

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