Agricultural and forestry operations

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Road sign: Free agricultural and forestry traffic.

Agriculture and forestry (LuF) is the branch of industry in which agriculture , forestry and other related branches of the economy are combined in the agricultural sector of primary production . The companies are called agriculture and forestry operations . While food, animal feed and energy resources are mainly produced in agriculture, forestry is primarily used to extract wood as a resource.

The agriculturally used area amounts to around 50 million km² worldwide, the forest area is estimated to be around 40 million km², of which only about a third is primeval forest . Around two thirds of the earth's land area (150 million km²) is used for agriculture and forestry.


Agriculture and forestry as a collective term is summarized in official statistics . For a number of years, however, the statistics have included fishing in particular : in the UN's international economic system as ISIC Section A, as well as in the EU takeover of NACE  2.0, before 2006, in NACE 1.1, A was still used as  agriculture and forestry and B  Fisheries and fish farming conducted.

environmental Protection

Agriculture, forestry and fishing that are compatible with nature and the landscape are of particular importance for maintaining the cultural and recreational landscape, Section 5 of the Federal Nature Conservation Act (BNatschG).

The Alpine Convention , an international agreement between the Alpine states, also emphasizes the togetherness:

"The contracting parties agree that a holistic conception of agriculture and forestry is necessary due to their complementary and partly interdependent functions in the mountain areas."

- Article 13 Agriculture and forestry as a unit of the Alpine Convention - Mountain Agriculture Protocol

Tax law

Agriculture and forestry is a collective term from tax law . The reason is that many farms are also forest owners ( small forest owners ) and also operate other ancillary trades , so that a strict separation is not appropriate. Pure forest operations are relatively rare (only large forest holdings and state-owned companies such as the Bayerische Staatsforsten AöR).

The Valuation Act (BewG) contains general regulations for agricultural and forestry assets (§§ 33 ff. BewG). This includes all economic goods that are intended to serve an agricultural and forestry company on a permanent basis. Operation of agriculture and forestry is the economic unit of agricultural and forestry assets ( Section 33 (1) BewG), as well as intangible assets (e.g. distilling rights, milk delivery rights, hunting rights and sugar beet delivery rights), insofar as they are a permanent part of an agricultural and forestry business are intended to serve ( § 140 Paragraph 1 BewG).

The tax code (AO) contains supplementary provisions for the accounting obligation of farmers and foresters ( § 142 AO).

value added tax

In Germany, Section 24 of the Sales Tax Act regulates average tax rates jointly for agricultural and forestry operations.

(2) As an agricultural and forestry operation
1. Agriculture, forestry, viticulture, horticulture, fruit and vegetable growing, tree nurseries, all businesses that win plants and parts of plants with the help of natural forces, inland fishing, pond farming, fish farming for inland fishing and pond farming, beekeeping, traveling sheep and seed farming;
2. Animal breeding and animal husbandry businesses, insofar as their animal stocks belong to agricultural use according to Sections 51 and 51a of the Assessment Act.

Income tax

Income from agriculture and forestry is income from the operation of agriculture, forestry, viticulture, horticulture and from all businesses that extract plants and parts of plants with the help of natural forces, Section 13 (1) No. 1 Income Tax Act (EStG).

Property tax

The municipalities decide on their own property tax assessment rate (property tax A) for farms and forestry companies .

Public building law

In the outdoor area , projects are permitted that serve an agricultural or forestry operation and only take up a subordinate part of the operating area, Section 35 (1) No. 1 of the Building Code (BauGB).


In Austria, the term is based on the Valuation Act 1955  (BewG 1955), the central law on property, also used as a basis for operations. Section I. Agricultural and forestry assets § 29 subspecies are regulated :

  1. the agricultural assets (Lit. al., §§ 30 et seq.)
  2. the forestry assets (Lit. b., §§ 46.47)
  3. the viticulture fortune (lit. c., §§ 48)
  4. the horticultural property (lit. a., §§ 49)
  5. the other agricultural and forestry assets (lit. e., §§ 50): these include "in particular:
    1. the fortune devoted to fish farming and pond farming
    2. the fishing rights and the rest of the fishing endowed assets
    3. the property devoted to beekeeping ( beekeeping ) "

Overall, according to the trade regulations, this includes "the production and extraction of plant products with the help of natural forces, viticulture and fruit growing , horticulture and tree nurseries , the keeping of livestock for breeding , fattening or production of animal products as well as hunting and fishing," and that Ancillary trades in agriculture and forestry , such as:

and activities such as serving as part of the alpine pasture management , vehicle and winter service , cultural maintenance in rural areas (such as mowing services ), composting or " breaking down your own soil " (such as clay pits) and the generation and delivery of heat from biomass ( small power plants up to 4 MW). In a broader sense (other legal matters), the term also includes farm-gate sales as a whole, wine taverns , rural private room rentals , holidays on the farm and much more.

Numerous classifications are based on this classification, from tax law and subsidies to official statistics. In Austria, agriculture and forestry have also been a joint ministerial department (portfolio) since 1919 , when the State Office for Agriculture and Forestry developed from the Imperial and Royal Agriculture Ministry (currently Sections II and III at the Federal Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry, Environment and Water Management , Ministry of Life, BMLFUW).

In total there are around 200,000 agricultural and forestry businesses in Austria, compared to 300,000 businesses in the other production and service sectors in total. The gross value added is around € 3 billion, which is just under 3% of production and less than 1.5% of the total operational value added in Austria.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Federal Environment Agency : Agriculture and Forestry. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  2. a b after World Bank - World Bank Data .
  3. Development of forest area worldwide from 1990 to 2015 (in million square kilometers). (accessed February 28, 2017).
  4. Global Forest . FAO (PDF; 1.5 MB).
  5. Protocol for the implementation of the Alpine Convention of 1991 in the field of mountain agriculture - Protocol "Mountain Agriculture " StF: Federal Law Gazette III No. 231/2002 (as amended online, ris.bka ).
  6. Georg Schnitter: EStG § 13 Income from Agriculture and Forestry / 2.2 Agriculture and Forestry Operation, accessed on August 1, 2020.
  7. ^ Arno Ruffer: Higher property tax for farmers? Weekly newspaper for agriculture & rural life , November 3, 2019.
  8. Federal Act of July 13, 1955 on the Valuation of Property (Valuation Act 1955 - BewG. 1955). StF: Federal Law Gazette No. 148/1955 (as amended online, ris.bka ).
  9. Trade Regulations 1994 - GewO 1994. StF: BGBl. No. 194/1994 (idgF online, ris.bka ).
  10. Quote What does the term agriculture and forestry fall under? In: Agriculture and Forestry - Exceptions to the Trade Regulations - FAQs , Number 1., Austrian Chamber of Commerce, October 19, 2012, accessed 4/2018.
  11. §§ 2. Abs. 1 Z. 1–4, Abs. 2–8 GewO, GewO 1. Scope ;
    also in short: What is meant by secondary trades? FAQ number 12. and Which activities are secondary trades in agriculture and forestry? 13., "This is an activity that is subject to the trade regulations, but is excluded from the scope of the trade regulations because they are closely related to an agricultural and forestry activity."
  12. At that time, the main reason was that the former Habsburg forest holdings went to the Republic of Austria, today's federal forests, and also that many other noble forest holdings were converted into corporate forms.
  13. Performance and structural data, various statistics
    Production and service areas: NACE B – N excluding public administration, defense; Social Security, Education, Health and Social Services, Arts, Entertainment and Recreation, and Other Services