Flurbereinigung is the German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 word used to describe land reforms in various countries, especially Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

. The term can best be translated as land consolidation. Another European country where those land reforms have been carried out is France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 (Remembrement). Although these reforms had been anticipated by agricultural planners since the beginning of the 19th century, they were not executed in grand scale until the time before about 1950. These reforms sought to improve agricultural efficiency and support the infrastructure. After criticism about loss of biodiversity
Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. In terrestrial habitats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions...

 caused by large-scale land reforms, restoring the natural environment became another objective.

Reasons for land consolidation

The process of Flurbereinigung was spurred heavily after the Second World War. In that time there was a great need for inexpensive agricultural products. At the same time the population in West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 underwent a rapid increase caused by millions of refugees from the former eastern territories of Germany. The idea was first to restructure the land properties by amalgamating different fields under the same property that were formerly geographically dispersed, thus reducing labor and costs of cultivating those fields. As a second step, agricultural infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

s like dirt road
Dirt road
Dirt road is a common term for an unpaved road made from the native material of the land surface through which it passes, known to highway engineers as subgrade material. Dirt roads are suitable for vehicles; a narrower path for pedestrians, animals, and possibly small vehicles would be called a...

s and farming machinery were heavily improved. That process also included regulating streams
In computer networking, STREAMS is the native framework in Unix System V for implementing character devices.STREAMS was designed as a modular architecture for implementing full-duplex I/O between kernel or user space processes and device drivers. Its most frequent uses have been in developing...

 and straightening country roads. As a result, the Flurbereinigung radically reshaped large areas of German agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, including the German wine
German wine
German wine is primarily produced in the west of Germany, along the river Rhine and its tributaries, with the oldest plantations going back to the Roman era. Approximately 60 percent of the German wine production is situated in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where 6 of the 13 regions ...

 industry. First taking shape in land consolidation legislation
Legislation is law which has been promulgated by a legislature or other governing body, or the process of making it...

 passed in the 1950s as part of an overhaul of the structuring of German agriculture, the Flurbereinigung would see many landscapes rearranged and physically reshaped, for example with respect to building access roads to make agriculture more effective.

Reason for restructuring vineyards

Many German wine regions, like the Mosel, have their vineyards planted on steep terrace
Terrace (agriculture)
Terraces are used in farming to cultivate sloped land. Graduated terrace steps are commonly used to farm on hilly or mountainous terrain. Terraced fields decrease erosion and surface runoff, and are effective for growing crops requiring much water, such as rice...

s along a riverbank to maximize the climate
Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental measurements in a given region over long periods...

 benefits of the nearby river. Often these vineyards were planted before mechanical harvesting was widely used and had to be picked by hand at great labor expense. Another disadvantage was the lack of ideal drainage in some of these vineyards where either too much or too little water was retained for the vine to sustain quality production.

Process and benefits

With Federal and local help from the government many German vineyard owners were able to redesign and replant their vineyards to optimize maintenance and harvesting. Several vineyards also took the opportunity to upgrade their plantings from the lower-quality Müller-Thurgau
Müller-Thurgau is a variety of white grape which was created by Hermann Müller from the Swiss Canton of Thurgau in 1882. It is a crossing of Riesling with Madeleine Royale. It is used to make white wine in Germany, Austria, Northern Italy, Hungary, England, in Australia, Czech Republic, Slovakia,...

 grape to the high-quality Riesling
Riesling is a white grape variety which originated in the Rhine region of Germany. Riesling is an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling white wines. Riesling wines are usually varietally...

 vine. Some wine areas also improved the roads and access to their vineyards to increase tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

potential. In some cases, parcels of land that were spread out over different areas were reallocated among vineyard owners to reduce production cost.
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