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The Role of Farm Size in The Sustainability of Dairy Farming in Austria: An Empirical Approach Based on Farm Accounting Data. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture: 28(4), 105-124

Kirner, L.; Kratochvil, R.


This contribution examines the extent to which farm size affects the sustainability of dairy farms in Austria. Correlations between sustainability indicators and farm size are calculated on data from accounts voluntarily provided by a network of farms. The results show that in large farms income from agriculture and forestry per unpaid family work unit was higher and the proportion of direct payments in income was lower. Smaller farms, on the other hand, tend to exhibit a higher proportion of diversification and generally contribute more to the regional economy. Moreover, smaller farms tend to provide greater environmental services than larger ones per unit agricultural area. Note, however, that larger farms show higher values of certain environmental indicators, when these are related to the produced output. This study concludes that boosting efficiency and increasing output reflects a trade-off with environmental and social services provided by the agricultural sector.