LIFE Research Area

Future agricultural Production Systems 

The demands on future agricultural production systems are various and complex. In the context of climate change, increasing digitalisation and the great importance of agriculture for food supply and environment, new, systemic and sustainable solutions are required.

With our transdisciplinary expertise, we address different issues and develop new strategies and concepts for agriculture.

Credit: JOANNEUM RESEARCH/Dreisiebner-Lanz

Climate Change Mitigation in Agriculture

Climate change represents an increasing production risk for agriculture and requires several adaptation measures at farm, regional and institutional levels. Technical, crop management, preventive and direct measures as well as risk management strategies should be considered.

Microeconomic Modelling and Methods of Data Acquisition

The economic viability of agricultural production systems is highly affected by climate change-induced production losses and adaptation measures. Based on several microeconomic modelling approaches, it is possible to

  • compare risk management tools
  • represent the economic impacts of climate change at the farm level
  • in combination with data acquisition methods, make statements about the overall sectors of agriculture.

Profound knowledge about socio-economic data serves to analyse current economic performance as well as the long-term economic development of a sector. Especially for the assessment of the effects of political and business measures (such as investment priorities or changes in production processes) and their targeted orientation, social and economic data is an essential basis. In addition to classic data collection methods, we use microeconomic modelling, as well as the analysis of representative farms as part of the so-called typical farm approach.

Current Research

Land Use, Carbon Storage and Geophysical Effects

Agricultural land use systems and forestry are the main production sites of food and wood products, but they also represent an important role in terms of carbon storage and climate change. Huge amounts of carbon are stored in the living and dead biomass, but also in the soil. In this respect, their sustainable management plays also an important role in fighting climate change. However, also geophysical effects such as albedo should be considered here as well. Furthermore, their evapotranspiration potentials have also positive influences in local and regional climate issues such as mitigating urban heat island effects etc.

LIFE models carbon fluxes between land use options, products and the atmosphere, considering geophysical effects such as albedo.

Digitalisation in Agriculture

Digitalisation offers a multitude of new opportunities for many aspects of daily life as well as for numerous economic sectors. The digitalisation of the agricultural value chain enables the development of new business models, as well as an efficiency increase in agricultural production (e.g. "precision farming").

LIFE is researching new forms of urban agriculture with the aim of increasing the sustainability of the food supply.

New value Chains in Agriculture

In addition to diversification and risk management in production, new approaches must be taken on the customer side. These can be new production and marketing cycles, alternative supply chains or extended uses of raw materials. Such (partly) new value chains require both an analysis of environmental impacts and the consideration of socio-economic and macro-economic aspects. 

Current Research