The average farm size in the EU has increased by 3.8% per year in recent years, and the standard economic output has increased by 5.2% per year, according to the latest EU Agricultural Economics Brief published by the European Commission.
Based on the most recent available statistics (2010), the Brief confirms that there is a higher rate of change in the Member States that joined the EU in 2004 & 2007, with a rise in economic output of more than 10% in a handful of Member States – albeit from a much lower base. In terms of age structure, the report shows that around 30% of farm managers are over 65 and confirms that smaller farms tend to be held by older farmers. Other figures show that the average size of organic farms is greater than the average for all farms taken together. In 2010, there were 12 million farms in the EU-27, stretching over 172 million hectares of land and employing 25 million people.
Holdings with no agricultural land are predominantly producing granivores. In economic terms, such holdings can be quite big, depending on their location: in the old Member States, more than 20% of all holdings specialised in pig or poultry production have a standard output above EUR 500 000. In contrast, between 80 and 90% of these specialised holdings located in countries that joined the EU in 2004 or 2007 produce less than EUR 2 000 of standard output. Grazing livestock, the second most important specialisation in holdings without agricultural area, is either held in intensive indoor systems without any land, or the animals graze on common land that is not counted towards the UAA of the holding.
Thursday October 24, 2013/ European Union.