Letter from Europe: Austria’s farmers welcome biogas with open arms

Some 335 of them contribute biogas to the national grid. Now a plan is afoot to develop a tractor in part fuelled by gas produced on the farm itself


There can’t be many countries in the world with a government so dedicated to its farmers’ well-being and business success as Austria.

Here’s a relatively small Alpine republic that encourages organic management because its farms are small (average 45 acres) and because organic foods offer a much better income compared with conventional output. Generous production aid and an annual advisory budget of C$13 million dedicated to organic output mean that 16 per cent of the nation’s 190,000 farms have now gone organic.

Better Farming - JuneJuly 2009