Chief Executive Officer of DLG
This year, DLG (Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft; German Agricultural Society), organizer of EuroTier, the world's largest exhibition for professional animal husbandry, can report a record number of stand bookings with 2,445 exhibitors from altogether 51 countries. These figures represent a growth of more than 25 per cent over the last event in 2010. The exhibition area has also grown by six halls to now over 25 hectares, equivalent to a net increase in floor space of around 30 percent. The exhibitors are presenting modern, innovative and professional concepts for animal production.
All the leading manufacturers in the industry are represented at EuroTier. In addition the advisors from many international associations and organizations, as well as research institutions, academia and DLG with their experts are offering comprehensive opportunities for gathering information. With this impressive exhibition programme, unique in this concentration, EuroTier is the world's largest exhibition of its kind and at the same time the indispensable forum for the future of professional animal husbandry.
World forum for the sector EuroTier more international than ever
EuroTier 2012 is more international in character than ever before. Nearly half of the exhibitors (47 percent) come from outside Germany. International participation has thus grown by 40 percent compared with 2010. The largest contingents of the altogether 1,151 international exhibitors come from the Netherlands (197), France (135), China (97), Italy (94), Denmark (86), the United Kingdom (72), Spain (68), Belgium (57) and Austria (51). It is striking that nearly all the participating countries display distinct growth in numbers. DLG sees this as a clear signal for the increasing global orientation of the companies and of agri-business with its global interconnections. The companies want to use the EuroTier platform specifically in order to tap into new markets.
BioEnergy Decentral 2012
The 'BioEnergy Decentral' exhibition held together with EuroTier and organized in cooperation with VDMA Power Systems, with support from the Association of Local Utilities (VKU), covers the entire bandwidth of technological developments in the field of bioenergy, renewable energies and technology addressing decentralized energy supply. Nearly 700 exhibitors from 24 countries are showing their new and further developments. This represents a growth of around 20 per cent in the number of exhibitors for 'BioEnergy Decentral.
Key areas of this year's exhibition are topics such as demand-driven power generation, technical facilities for expedient use of waste heat and smart energy.
The world's top event: EuroTier
The excellent stand booking results impressively underscore EuroTiers leading position as the worlds top event for animal production. Moreover they also confirm the general assessment that good long-term prospects are forecast for agribusiness on the grounds of expected global increases in demand for foods, especially for meat, and for biomass made from agricultural raw materials. DLG also sees other reasons for the rising demand on the part of exhibitors. These include, for instance, the fact that EuroTier is the worlds showcase for innovations. Manufacturers and suppliers of machinery and equipment, systems and installations and farm inputs for professional animal husbandry are increasingly orienting their innovation cycles to EuroTier in Hanover and showing their innovations for the world market there. This is impressively corroborated by the new record level of over 300 innovations submitted to EuroTier this year. The programme concept of the exhibition also plays a role. At EuroTier the complete range of machinery and equipment, genetic resources, farm inputs and services for cattle, pig and poultry husbandry are presented under a single roof. That is unique throughout the world.
High demand for information among animal husbandry specialists: Focus on animal health and welfare
The demand for information among animal husbandry professionals remains high. Farm managers and herd managers on the farms need the newest modern and professional concepts in order to make their farms fit for the future. This applies for all questions concerning animal breeding, feeding, husbandry, management, logistics, and in particular matters of animal health and animal welfare.
The latest findings and potential solutions for achieving this will be discussed every day at EuroTier in a large number of expert lectures and discussion panels. As the Federal Association of Practising Veterinarians (Bundesverband Praktizierender Tierärzte - bpt) is holding its annual congress at the Exhibition Grounds in Hanover, its timeframe overlapping with EuroTier, there will be intensive exchanges of opinion and experience concerning animal health between veterinarians and farmers from all over the world.
With its unique programme of information, EuroTier 2012 will provide answers to all questions of modern animal husbandry. It is not only an innovations forum for modern equipment, installations and machinery, but also a generator of ideas and impulses for the most significant concepts signposting the future for animal husbandry.
Large crowds expected for the Young Farmers Day
DLG is expecting around 5,000 participants at the Young Farmers Day today, 15 November 2012. The day will start with information events on vocational training and a number of job forums with representatives from the industry. The highlight will be the European Young Animal Farmers Congress. At the event young dairy, pig and poultry farmers from Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Russia and Switzerland will present animal husbandry development strategies and discuss these with congress participants. The day will close with the now traditional Young Farmers Party in the evening.
Agri-business with positive outlook
For DLG, the large number of exhibitors also evidences the stable situation of agri-business in the macroeconomic environment. The international markets for agricultural commodities have been moving at a high level for some time.
Pig farmers see that the interim low price period for slaughter pigs has been overcome. Pig supplies are sold quickly and ensure a stable price level. This has partly been able to compensate the high feed prices, which remain strong despite the fact that prices are now falling on the exchanges.
In the opinion of experts, the market prospects for milk prices are encouraging over the next twelve months. The positive trend is currently reflected in flourishing cheese exports and rising prices for dairy products in the German food retail trade. In the medium term, milk producers are preparing for the time after 2015 and the associated exit from the quota system.
The high feed price level also affects poultry meat producers, and according to a very recent market analysis from the US Department of Agriculture this is leading to falling profit margins and slowing down expansion of production. On the other hand, the US analysts expect globally increasing consumption of chicken meat in the coming year to almost 82.3 million tons. Higher demand is predicted for practically all major regions and is expected to be above average in particular in India and China.
According to information supplied by MEG (Bonn), the egg price trend at wholesaler level has been rising again since the beginning of August. The price curves in 2012 have been comparable in most EU countries, documenting the international linking of the markets.
Social environment is increasingly playing a key role
Alongside market frameworks oriented to supply and demand, animal productions image in society is playing an increasingly more significant role in the development and implementation of farm strategies for animal producers.
According to the latest figures of the DLG TrendMonitor Europe, 88 per cent of farm managers in Germany believe that the discussions about modern animal husbandry will remain a permanent facet of agriculture. However, by contrast, so far only 40 per cent of farmers interviewed believe that PR work will be a fixed component of farm management, like production management, financing and marketing.
Communicative PR work and the positioning of farm businesses in society represent one of the future challenges for farms and the entire sector and it is necessary to develop strategies to address this.
DLG-TrendMonitor Europe: German farmers plan to invest more in farmyard facilities
Despite the tight situation in animal husbandry, farm managers in Germany plan to focus their investments on stable and yard operations. This is a result of the current DLG-TrendMonitor for autumn 2012.
The expectations of German and European farmers regarding the future show a divided picture. While farm managers in Germany and France look to the coming months more confidently than at the time of the spring survey, optimism is declining in the United Kingdom and Poland. The DLG-TrendMonitor is based on a survey of around 3,100 farmers from six European countries conducted every six months on behalf of DLG by the market research company, Kleffmann.
Germany: Reserved assessment of the business situation, slight decline in expectations of business development
Farm managers in Germany are no longer quite as satisfied with the current business situation as they were in the spring survey 2012, as is shown by the 2.5-point decline to a score of now 2.7 (on a scale of 1 = high to 5 = low).
Compared with the figures for recent years, however, this is still at a relatively high level. Expectations of business development are stable and achieve a score of 2.6, following 2.5 points in the previous spring. Although the inclination to invest has dropped from 54 percent in spring 2012 to now 48 percent, this still means that nearly every second farm manager is planning to invest in the coming twelve months.
The background to the more modest assessment of the current business situation is the high level of feed prices for animal producers and the resulting pressure on farm profits. The TrendMonitor score has dropped for dairy and pig farmers to 2.8 points (by comparison with 2.5 and 2.7 in spring), while arable farmers assess their situation slightly more positively than six months ago (rising from 2.5 to 2.4).
A look at expectations of business development displays a similar picture. While cash crop producers are looking more confidently to the coming twelve months, the business expectations of animal producers have clouded slightly. This reflects the anticipation that feed prices will remain high, even though they are set against more favourable market conditions for selling pork and dairy products.
Investment plans focus on stable and yard operations
Investment plans are prioritizing animal husbandry. Altogether 44 per cent of investments planned in Germany will be channelled into this sector, three per cent more than in spring. Of the investments, 42 per cent will be devoted to outdoor operations and 14 per cent to bioenergy.
Accordingly farm managers in Germany are investing distinctly more in animal husbandry than their colleagues in the other countries. This underscores the pioneer role of German farmers in animal husbandry and strengthens their position in competition.
Animal farmers are between two poles here. On the one hand they are confronted with sustained high feed costs, which in view of the liquidity situation could lead some animal producers to defer investments, while on the other hand it is becoming increasingly more difficult to obtain construction permits, especially for pig farmers. This favours carrying out investments which have already been approved now, under the currently favourable financing conditions. And with their forthcoming investments dairy farmers are preparing their way to the new market environment as of 2015, following the end of the quota system.
The high costs of farm inputs and land as well as the ever more difficult permit practice for animal housing buildings are directing attention to indoor developments on the farms and the optimizing of farm strategies. Improving efficient use of farm inputs is becoming increasingly important and farm managers are showing ever more interest in corresponding technical solutions.
Europe More optimism in France, greater scepticism in the UK
Europe's farmers assess the situation very differently. In Poland and the United Kingdom, the generally high production costs are leading to less favourable assessments of the business situation. British farmers especially are suffering under the low producer prices for milk and meat, and due to the difficult harvest conditions they have had to accept drops in yields and quality. In this environment, the expectations of business development have clouded over considerably in the United Kingdom. Consequently readiness to invest has declined from 52 percent in the spring survey to now only 42 per cent. In Poland, assessment of business development remains stable at 2.9 points, while inclination to invest shows a slightly declining trend from 58 per cent to now 55 per cent.
Farm managers in France, on the other hand, assess both the present business situation and expectations of business development more positively than they did in spring 2012. Readiness to invest has increased further too, from 26 per cent to 31 per cent. The positive trend observed in France since autumn 2010 is thus continuing.
High numbers of visitors expected
The positive frameworks for animal production and the positioning of EuroTier lead to strong interest among visitors from both Germany and other countries. In view of the unique exhibition programme and the many preliminary enquiries, DLG is expecting over 160,000 visitors this year - at the last event in 2010, the figure was 145,000.