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New glyphosate study: with a ban of glyphosate profits of farmers in Germany drop by 70 percent and the impact on climate increases

According to a new study published by the Kleffmann Group a potential ban of glyphosate results in significant economic losses for the German agricultural sector.  

The study intended to examine concrete risks and impacts for individual farming businesses. A generally recognized measure for economic efficiency is the gross margin per hectare. That is the revenue which is left over for a farmer after the deduction of production costs. That is why this study analyses how a ban of glyphosate would affect the gross margin of major crops (winter wheat, winter barely, rapeseed, silo maize, sugar beet) and of special cultures (apple and wine).

Without glyphosate being available for weed control farmers are forced to combat weed with alternative herbicides or mechanically. This leads to immediate higher production costs. A ban would cause losses of up to 220 euros in viticulture and up to 186 euros per hectare in apple cultivation. The impact would be even more drastic for crops such as barley and silo maize. The gross margin would decrease about forty to seventy percent only because of higher expenses, and it could even reach negative levels if farmers suffer from yield reduction. Far reaching effects on agricultural structures would be the consequence: When the cultivation of certain crops is not profitable anymore, they have to be removed from the production system. Then they would have to be subsidized or farmers would have to switch to other crops. As a consequence, crop diversity is threatened to impoverish. The overall production of certain cultivations could decrease considerably.

Furthermore, this also leads to more soil erosion in vulnerable regions with long term consequences for soil fertility. Moreover, due to higher diesel consumptions CO2 emissions would increase by around 28 kg/ha per year for crops (e.g. wheat), by 59 kg/ha per year for apple cultivation, or by 62 kg/ha per year for viticulture. This adds up to a total amount of around 100,000 tons per year of CO2 emissions.

 

Study: The economic relevance of  glyphosate in Germany

Last update: 07 September 2017