Since the 19th century very extensive structural changes have taken place in agriculture, and these are once more of increasing current importance due to the question of economic regions. But not only this development makes the elaboration of data necessary. Factors of at least equal importance are the enormous increase in the productivity of the individual worker and of the soil that has been achieved by drawing upon the aid of industry in the fields of machine construction, plant protection and fertilisers. On the basis of this starting position I have been asked to submit a few thoughts to you on the problem. I am deliberately limiting myself to the field of plant protection agent production, so as to exclude animal production and breeding. The relevant experience was obtained from studies in connection with the Swiss Farmers' Panel, which have been conducted by Unternehmen und Markt AG since 1968.