The answers to these questions and many more are found in the 2016 edition of the Agriculture, forestry and fisheries statistical book, published by Eurostat.
The publication opens with a focus chapter which offers an overview of the main characteristics of the EU cultivation, production and economic value of dry pulses, on the occasion of the FAO's international year on this topic. In the chapter dedicated to the structure of agricultural holdings, the dichotomy between small family - run, labour - intensive, diversified farms and larger corporate farms, which tend to be relatively specialized, is analysed from different perspectives, including the structure of the labour force. Some interesting findings from this part show notably that :
- very large farms accounted for 6.3% of the total number of farms and for 71.4% of agricultural standard output in the EU ;
- farming is a predominantly family activity within the EU, with more than three - quarters (76.3%) of the EU agricultural labour force being family members.
Information provided on agricultural accounts and prices covers agricultural output, labour input, income and price indices, while a whole chapter is dedicated to agriculture and environment , assessing the risk of pollution by nitrogen and phosphorus and presenting figures on irrigable and irrigated areas as well as on pesticide sales.
Agricultural production indicators present detailed data on crops, livestock and meat as well as milk and its products. From this section, readers will learn for example that :
- Spain and Germany recorded the highest number of pigs across the EU (with 28.4 and 27.7 million head respectively), France the highest number of bovines (19.4 million head) and the United Kingdom the highest number of sheep (23.1 million head) ;
- the Netherlands, Spain and Italy were the most important producers of vegetables in the EU in terms of economic value, accounting for more than half of EU production in 2015 ;
- Spain, Italy and France were the top 3 producers of fruit in the EU in terms of economic value, accounting for over 60% of EU output in 2015
Wednesday December 21, 2016/ EUROSTAT/ European Union.