By agriculture, we mean the two areas of farming and horticulture on the one hand and animal production on the other. It also includes seed and animal feed production, the production of pesticides and fertilisers as well as the production of agricultural machines and vehicles.
There are around 155,000 farms in Austria. Agriculture tends to have a small-scale structure; it has a strong tendency towards sustainability and conscious and careful interaction with nature. Only around 2.5% of the population are employed in agriculture but they have an important function in the supply of agricultural products and in caring for the cultural landscape. The share of family-run establishments is high; slightly more than half are side-line businesses.
The production of agricultural machinery in Austria has a high degree of specialisation and is flexible and innovative. The range of products is extremely comprehensive. Tractors are a focus area in the production of agricultural and forestry machines in Austria. In addition, machines and appliances for soil cultivation (e.g. harrows, ploughs) and for grassland (mowers, gyroscopes, etc.), municipal vehicles, agricultural trailers, animal housing equipment, irrigation systems, municipal technology as well as wood chipping machines are produced. These machines and devices make work easier and increase efficiency in agriculture.
Austrian organic agricultural products are extraordinarily popular because of their high quality. Not only the strict Austrian laws are responsible for the high standards being complied with. The organic concept has been highly pronounced in Austria since as early as the 1970s and the marketing and sales argument of sustainability has long been firmly established here. The small structures of the farms in Austria are an advantage for sustainable farming practice; today, Austria leads the way in Europe with ecological areas accounting for more than 20%.
Austrian products worldwide
Sugar, starch and fruit are the three main products of an Austrian company that is active worldwide at more than 55 locations in 26 countries. Its range of products incorporates bioethanol, sugar in food, starch for textiles and papers, apple juice concentrates and, a particularly successful product, fruit preparations for yoghurts. One in three fruit yoghurts that are eaten worldwide contains fruit preparations made by this Austrian producer.
An Austrian family-run business with a long tradition became a leader in the mechanisation of agriculture with its innovations in the production of agricultural machines and devices. It expanded its range of products continuously and now covers the entire harvesting chain: hay harvesting machines, loading vehicles, harvesting vehicles and silage trailers as well as soil cultivation appliances from ploughs to seed drills. The outstanding quality of the products convinces customers in many countries.
Tradition meets innovation
Agricultural technology is an exciting future market with potential for innovation and development. A key aspect is the digitalisation of agricultural technology that provides the users with valuable information and can help with decisions and measures. The topic of automation is also an important future issue in the production of food and the extraction of raw materials that Austrian agricultural engineers are addressing.A lot of research energy goes into innovation in the areas of seed and animal feed. Animal feed additives that protect the health of the animals by deactivating mycotoxins in contaminated feed are just one example of high-profile approaches with which the challenges of the future are met in a field with a long history.