Country Infos

Country Profile Manager:
Bettina Matzdorf
Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF)

Species-rich grassland (Artenreiches Dauergrünland) - Baden-Württemberg




The species-rich grassland scheme (artenreiches Dauergrünland) in the German region of Baden-Württemberg (Southwest Germany) is a sub-programme of the agri-environment FAKT (formerly MEKA) programme. It offers a payment to farmers who manage species-rich grassland containing at least 4 or 6 key plant indicator species. It is a very successful programme and was the first one of its kind in Germany, with other regions having since adopted similar programmes. The 4 or 6 species must appear within the regional catalogue of key species (partly species, partly genera). For Baden-Württemberg, 30 species appear on the list, which covers all grassland types including meadows and pastures from the Rhine valley at about 100 m above sea level to the mountainous regions in the Black Forest of over 1,400 m. This scheme has been in operation since 2000 and has a wide acceptance with around 4,800 farmers engaged in the scheme covering approximately 44,000 ha of grassland, around 10 per cent of all grassland in Baden-Württemberg.

Location of the scheme

one region

The region of Baden-Württemberg (Southwest Germany) was the first to implement result-based payment schemes based for grasslands based on indicator species. Several other regions have followed with own programmes (e.g. Rheinland-Pfalz, Niedersachsen & Bremen, Thüringen, Bayern, Hessen, Sachsen and Brandenburg).

Duration of the scheme

Since: 2000
Until: ongoing

Objective(s) of the scheme / project

  • Biodiversity

Protection of species-rich meadows and pastures.

Which habitats or species are in the focus of the scheme / project?

  • Habitats (incl. habitats of Fauna-Flora-Habitat-Directive (FFH-D.))
  • Species (incl. species of FFH-D. and Birds Directive (BD))

Which indicators are used?

  • Species (incl FFH and BD)

There is a catalogue of 30 key flower species or genera with photographs against which farm species richness is compared. A minimum of 4 or 6 indicator species from this catalogue must be present in each third of a transect across the parcel. It does not matter which of the key species are present or whether the same or different key species occur in each transect segment.
The catalogue of indicators includes genera as well as species to make them easy to identify, with a lower rate of error for the farmer. Highly visible genera that flower reliably from spring onwards were selected, and grasses were excluded.

More information on the indicator species is available in German.

Design of scheme / project

  • Hybrid result based payment with complementary management based payments

Farmers can select the results-based component for species rich grassland either in addition to a management-based base payment for extensive management of grassland or as a stand-alone payment. Farmers have to record dates of mowing / pasturing and of fertiliser application to the meadows under the scheme, but there are no restrictions on the actual management practices required. The scheme is open to all farmers if their meadow or pasture fulfils the minimum threshold of indicator species present.

By which fund(s) is the scheme / project implemented?

  • Agri Environmental Measures of CAP

How are the incentives (payment levels) calculated?

  • Other

Farmers are paid €230 per hectare for the field parcels in which 4 indicator species are found in each of the transect thirds and €260 per hectare for fields with 6 indicator species.

How many hectares are in the scheme (year 2020)?

  • More than 5.000

How many farmers take part in the scheme?

  • More than 2.000