Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Number of farms decreases by 1000 last year

15 Feb 2019, 03:27 ( 1 Month ago)

DF Report
Press Release Photo by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)/ Erkki Oksanen.

There were roughly 47,700 agricultural and horticultural enterprises in Finland in 2018, according to provisional data in the register of agricultural and horticultural enterprises.

The number of farms decreased by nearly 1,000 from the year before, but at a slower pace than in previous years, said a press release of the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) on Thursday.

 During 2018, nearly two per cent of farms stopped operating, while the general rate of discontinued operations has been two or three per cent in recent years.

The average field area increased by nearly one hectare to 48 hectares. Information about the average size of farms in the EU states has been compiled since 2013. The average size ranges from one hectare in Malta to more than 130 hectares in the Czech Republic. In 2013, the average size of farms in the EU-28 was 16 hectares.

In 2018, other plant production was the primary production line for the first time. Other plant production is the primary production line of a farm when roughly two-thirds of the farm’s revenue comes from, for example, oil plants, grass or caraway.

“In 2018, other plant production was the primary production line on roughly 15,500 farms and cereal production on roughly 15,200 farms. It will be interesting to see how this situation develops”, said Jaana Kyyrä, senior statistician of Luke.

Livestock production was the primary production line on roughly one-fourth of all farms, as in 2017. By far the most common primary production line on livestock farms was dairy cattle production, which was the primary production line on approximately 6,300 farms.

The average age of farmers was 53 years in 2018. On limited liability farms, the average age of farmers was the lowest, i.e. 48 years. Farmers in charge of farms owned by heirs were the oldest at an average age was 60 years. On family-run farms, the average age of farmers was 52 years.

“The number of farmers of over 70 years is increasing rapidly. Roughly one-fourth of all farmers are over 60 and only 16 per cent are under 40. It seems that more and more people continue to run their farms, even at the retirement age. However, it also seems that many stopped to run their farms well before retirement last year”, Kyyrä said.

Of all agricultural and horticultural enterprises in Finland, 86 per cent were family-run farms. There were fewer than 1,000 limited liability farms, comprising two per cent of all farms. Less than nine per cent were farming syndicates and some two per cent were farms owned by heirs.