Characterisation and assessment of the economic vulnerability of farms


One of the main challenges for farms is to maintain a sustainable annual income level in a constantly changing production environment (climate change, price volatility, health risks, etc.). The ability of agricultural systems to cope with these new challenges determines their vulnerability. Little is known about the production conditions and agricultural practices that make it possible to reduce the vulnerability of farms to this new context.

Titre de la référence

Source : Unsplash - Stijn te Strake


The objectives of this mission were:

  • Benchmark existing methods to quantify the vulnerability of farms;
  • Develop an analytical framework to assess and characterise the economic vulnerability of farms in France;
  • Apply the analysis framework to a sample from the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN);
  • Identify agricultural production conditions and practices that help reduce the vulnerability of farms.


An innovative analytical framework has been developed to characterise and assess the economic vulnerability of farms.

The application of this framework of analysis on a sample of 208 farms (FADN, France) made it possible to identify three vulnerability profiles based on an analysis of changes in their current income per worker during the analysis period (14 years). Then, vulnerability profiles were described through an analysis of farm production profiles – taking into account production adjustments during the analysis period.

The results show that crop-livestock diversification is not a sufficient condition to reduce the vulnerability of farms: interactions between production workshops and adjustment of these interactions over time are necessary.

Our references