Agricultural land requirements for biodiversity-promoting measures and policies in Germany

There is a multitude of political reform projects and measures for the protection of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes in the EU and in Germany. Despite the diversity of the measures, they all have in common that they restrict conventional arable farming, either through a complete set-aside of land or through a change in farm management.

Our new HFFA Research report identifies the most important reform projects and measures that have such an effect on arable farming in Germany and, in a further step, estimates the land requirements of these measures. The analysis was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Wilhelm Klümper, an external freelance consultant.


The three large reform packages identified as relevant for the analysis are:


  1. The new European Common Agricultural Policy from 2023;
  2. The Action Program for Insect Conservation (Aktionsprogramm Insektenschutz) in Germany; and
  3. The Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies within the framework of the European Green Deal.

The basis of the analyses was the total arable land in Germany. The subsequently conducted partial analyses of a total of nine policy measures based on the implementations or implementation proposals coded in legal texts and/or policy strategy papers reveal a great heterogeneity of the measures regarding their land requirements.


At the same time, the values determined by the analysis show a varying degree of uncertainty, especially regarding the exact amount of land requirements by each policy measure – but also regarding the measures’ effects on target indicators from the areas of biodiversity as well as climate protection, food security and other societal goals. Thus, for better evaluating policy measures in biodiversity protection in their complex entirety, a corresponding need for additional research has been identified.


The launch and presentation of the publication’s results took place in June 2022 during a press conference of BASF SE, the initiator and supporter of the study. Information of the event, including a link to the HFFA Research publication (in German language), are available online on the BASF website.


For more information about the project, please contact