HVG Germany: Hopfen


Variable costs

As in every cost accounting first of all the type of costs have to be defined. The following accounting examples are based on the work of Franz Brandl ("The costs in producing hops") and Jakob Münsterer ("Costs in hop production").

Variable costs are costs which directly depend on the hop volume and the size of the area under hops.
Depending on the farm the following variable costs are incurred:

  1. Fertilization: analysis of the soil. Green fertilization and the specifically dosed chemical fertilization
  2. Plant protection: essential sprayings to control pests and diseases
  3. Training wire: the quality of the wire is important for training the hops.
  4. Consumer goods: water, electricity, fuel oil, diesel, lubricants
  5. Variable machinery costs: spare parts and maintenance
  6. Outside labour costs: outside labour is necessary in the spring and at harvest- time.
  7. Insurance: hail, storm, fire damage for own hops
  8. Taxes relating to production
  9. Contributions and fees: Hop Ring, Hop-Growers' Association, etc.
  10. Any leased hop fields

According to how one sees it, the plant material is either allocated to the variable costs or the investment costs with the appertaining depreciation. We go along with Jakob Münsterer and the LfL who regard these costs as investments.
As an example taking the year 2001: according to the respective variety the average in euros per hectare is between 3,200 und 3,600 euros.