Welcome to the Chair Group of Production and Resource Economics!

Current Projects

INCiTiS-FOOD: Integrated and circular technologies for sustainable city region food systems in Africa

INCiTiS-FOOD aims to improve food and nutrition security in African city regions and reduce the food-system-related environmental footprint while contributing to circularity. Furthermore, the project will empower communities by opening up opportunities for them in agri-food supply and value chains, and by achieving environmental justice through transformative food policies. This will be achieved through... more

Net-CSA Bio: Network on Climate-Smart agriculture: Integrating biodiversity and ecosystem conservation

The “Network on Climate-Smart agriculture: Integrating biodiversity and ecosystem conservation (Net-CSA bio)” aims at fostering cooperation in research and teaching between TUM-PuR and scientists from Colombian universities and research institutes. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and focuses on three main pillars: scientific excellence, capacity building, and network enhancement. The scientific pillar focuses on... more

NOVASOIL: Innovative business models for soil health

The general objective of the NOVASOIL project is to demonstrate the benefits of investing in soil health for society and the environment. Innovations to improve soil health will be promoted by establishing a network of experts, the experimental design and testing of effective and efficient cooperation models, and the development of contractual frameworks that support the implementation of the models by various actors. The expected key outcome of the project is a... more

RETOUCH Nexus - Resilient water governance under climate change within the WEFE Nexus

With increased water scarcity due to anthropocentric and natural causes, the trade-offs and synergies intrinsic to efficiently allocate water resources to various competing uses have become more polarized. Realizing the importance of an integrated approach in water governance, the RETOUCH Nexus project introduces and promotes the Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus as a multi-level and cross-sectoral approach that advocates the EU water economy and, in addition, relies on ecological and social considerations. The overall objective of RETOUCH Nexus is... more

GRASSWORKS - What works and why in grassland restoration in Germany? A multi-region social-ecological assessment and pilot implementation of successful approaches.

GRASSWORKS aims to contribute to the comprehensive and global transformation to reversing species and habitat loss and focus on a greater appreciation of grassland biodiversity and its many ecosystem functions and services. The project focuses on three model regions in North, Central and South Germany, over three ree regions that vary in their economic, social-ecological and socioeconomic contextual conditions. The project is based on the hypothesis that biodiversity restoration success depends on the extent to which projects address the diverse levels of ecological complexity, as well as the social engagement of diverse stakeholders. This is a... more

PONDERFUL- POND Ecosystems for Resilient FUture Landscapes in a changing climate

Ponds and “pondscapes” (networks of ponds) are crucial for biodiversity conservation and their multiple societally beneficial ecosystem services (ES) provide the means to play a crucial role in mitigating and adapting to climate change. However, ponds are largely neglected in water- and nature-related policies and there is insufficient knowledge on how to manage and restore ponds to maximize nature-based solutions (NBS) to increase resilience of ecosystems and society to climate change. The overarching objective of PONDERFUL is to generate and integrate biodiversity, ecosystems, social, economic and policy knowledge to design and implement evidence-based, nature-based strategies using pondscapes for mitigation and adaptation to climate change... more

IPM Popillia - Integrated Pest Management of the invasive Japanese Beetle, Popillia japonica

The IPM Popillia project seeks to limit the invasion of quarantine pests such as the Japanese Beetle, a pest that was found in Europe for the first time in 2014, using sustainable and environmentally friendly control strategies. Japanese Beetles are already abundant in natural conservation areas, grasslands, forest margins, small structured, fragmented landscapes, or close to residential areas and private gardens, but slowly become a threat to agriculture. The European Union's (EU) Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive (SUD) restricts the use of conventional methods of controlling invasive pests in crops and non-crop areas. This implies that pest management strategies using conventional pesticides are technically not feasible or socially inacceptable to address the menace of the Japanese Beetle in crops and non-crop areas that are currently or will in the future be affected... more

Current publications

Profitability Development and Resource Reallocation: The Case of Sugar Beet Farming in Germany

Wimmer, S. and J. Sauer (2020). Journal of Agricultural Economics

The 2006 sugar market reform in the European Union reduced minimum prices for sugar and sugar beets and introduced a voluntary restructuring scheme with buy back production quotas from sugar companies. Consequently, a restructuring of the entire sector occurred. In 2005/06, 189 sugar factories processed sugar beets produced on 305,000 farms; while in 2015/16, the number of factories declined to 109 (-42%) and the number of beet-producing farms to 140,000 (-55%). In our study that is now published in the Journal of Agricultural Economics, we analyze the consequences for German farms. Using data from the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) with 1,940 beet producing farms, we assess the development of sugar beet profitability and sector productivity from 2004 to 2013. Our results show that an increase in total factor productivity (TFP) partly compensated for losses in terms of trade. A small portion of TFP growth can be explained by a reallocation of production from less productive farms towards more productive ones. Finally, we find that the contribution of production reallocation to sector productivity growth varied across regions with distinct ownership structures of sugar processing companies.


Diversification economies in dairy farming – empirical evidence from Germany

Wimmer, S. and J. Sauer (2020). European Review of Agricultural Economics

This article explores how farm size is related to economic benefits from diversification. Using a data set pertaining to Bavarian dairy farms (2000–2014), we estimate an input distance function (IDF) to derive cost complementarities between distinct outputs. A Bayesian estimation technique is used to improve the theoretical consistency of the IDF. The results show that small dairy farms are more likely to benefit from diversification between milk and livestock production, while larger farms tend to benefit from diversification between milk and crop production. Both managerial and policy implications are discussed.


Innovation and performance – evidence at micro level

Sauer, J. and H. Vrolijk (2019). Applied Economics

This empirical study aims to shed light on the link between innovation and economic performance at micro level. Based on a comprehensive survey among dairy and crop farms in the Netherlands we estimate a structural multi-stage model to deliver evidence on the effect of engagement and investment in innovation on the production of product, process and organizational or marketing innovations as well as on the effect of such innovations on farm level productivity. The results suggest various market and farm behaviour related factors to stimulate an increase in innovation engagement and production. Furthermore, the study reveals that indeed a greater innovation investment per unit (innovation input) leads to a higher probability of producing at least one successful product, process and/or organizational or marketing innovation (innovation output). The production of process and organizational or marketing related innovation leads to significant productivity gains. Various recommendations towards a more effective and efficient innovation policy are finally given.