Crop production (apro_cp)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)

Eurostat and National Quality Reports according to ESQRS (ESS Standard for Quality Reports Structure)
National metadata

National quality report

National metadata produced by countries and released by Eurostat starting 2016 (reference year)

National metadata

National quality report

National metadata produced by countries and released by Eurostat

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union

1.2. Contact organisation unit

E1: Agriculture and fisheries

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 18/03/2019
2.2. Metadata last posted 18/03/2019
2.3. Metadata last update 18/03/2019

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

Crop statistics refer to the following types of annual data:

  • area under cultivation, harvested production, yield,  humidity and main area for cereals and for other main field crops (mainly dried pulses, root crops, fodder and industrial crops);
  • harvested area, harvested production and main area for vegetables ;
  • production area, harvested production and main area for permanent crop.

The data are provided at national level. For some products regional figures (NUTS 1 or 2) are available too. The areas  are expressed in 1 000 hectares,  the harvested quantities in 1 000 tonnes and the yields in t/ha. The production and yield data are available in EU standard humidity (apro_cpsh) and in national humidity (apro_cpnh). The information concerns more than 100 crop products.

The earliest data are available from 1955 for cereals and from the early 1960's for fruits and vegetables. However, most Member States have started to send in data in the 1970's and 1980's. The statistical system has progressively improved and enlarged. The current Regulation (EC) No 543/2009 entered into force in January 2010. The annex was updated in 2015 through a Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 2015/1557. At present Eurostat receives and publishes harmonised statistical data from EU Member States, from the EFTA countries and from the candidate and potential candidate countries broken down in:

  • 17 categories and subcategories for cereals;
  • 29 categories and  subcategories for other main crops (mainly dry pulses and protein crops, root crops industrial crops and plants harvested green from arable land);
  • 40 categories and subcategories for vegetables;
  • 41 categories and subcategories for permanent crops;
  • 18 categories and subcategories for the Utilised Agricultural Area (UAA).

For the full list of crops, please consult Annex.

Some additional crops and transmission deadlines are covered by an ESS agreement on annual crop statistics.

The main data sources are administrative records, surveys and expert estimates. National Statistical Institutes or Ministries of Agriculture are responsible for the national data collection in accordance with the Regulations and agreements in force.

Eurostat is responsible for compiling the EU aggregates. Due to different revision policy for the EU aggregates and the Member States' data, there may be a difference between the EU aggregate and the sum of national data between updates.

Regional metadata

Please note that for paragraphs where no metadata for regional data has been specified the regional metadata is identical to the metadata for the national data.

3.2. Classification system

For the complete list of products, see Annex.

The territorial classification of regional data is broken down according to the NUTS classification.

The regional data are avilable at NUTS 1 and NUTS 2 levels, except for France and Germany only at NUTS 1 level.

The geographical classification for country codes is ISO 3166.

3.3. Coverage - sector

Main crops from the Utilised Agricultural Area and mushrooms.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

Crop statistics use the following definitions:

For cereals, dry pulses, root crops, industrial crops and plants harvested green the areas refer to the area under cultivation. Area under cultivation means the area that corresponds to the total sown area, but after the harvest it excludes ruined areas (e.g. due to natural disasters).  If the same land parcel is used twice in the same year, the area of this parcel can be counted twice.

For vegetables the area refers to the harvested area. For many vegetables the cropping time is short so the same area can be used several times per year. For this reason the harvested are can be much bigger than the physical  area (main area).

For permanent crops the area refers to the production area. All non-productive areas are excluded (e.g. young non-productive plantations, abandoned areas, etc.).

The concept of "main area" used in main land use data corresponds, in general, to the area of the land parcel. The crop/occupation linked to that area is the unique or main crop having occupied the parcel during the crop year. In the case of annual crops, the main area should correspond to the sown area. For permanent crops it refers to the total planted area (including non-productive plants).  In the case of successive crops (mostly vegetables) it refers to the main crop that occupied the parcel during that year. These special cases are described in detail in the Handbook (Annual Crop Statistics Handbook in Annex).

Production means the harvested production. Harvested production means the production which is harvested and transported away from the field. It includes losses and wastage which takes place on the farm after harvest, quantities consumed directly on the farm and marketed quantities. It is indicated in units of basic product weight.


Biological (real) production
Harvested production  
Usable production  
Marketed production Direct consumption On-holding losses
and wastage
Harvesting losses Non-harvested


Harvest year means the calendar year in which the harvest begins.

Yield is the harvested production divided by the harvested area.

3.5. Statistical unit

Parcel cultivated for the production of a crop.

3.6. Statistical population

All area cultivated with crops.

3.7. Reference area

European Union Member States, EFTA/EEA countries (except Liechtenstein, which is exempt from the data transmission obligation), candidate countries and potential candidate countries. 

Most of the data refer to a whole country. For some crops, data are transmitted also at regional level, using NUTS 1 or NUTS 2. Eurostat publishes also EU-aggregates.

3.8. Coverage - Time

The data are annual and presented in time series for each country and for the EU.

The period covered depends on each country's date of accession to the European Union. The earliest data are available from 1955 for cereals and from the early 1960's for fruits and vegetables.

The data delivery for each crop year takes place in several data transmissions. The first data delivery takes place at the end of January the of the current crop year (year n) for arable crops. The final data is delivered at the end of September the following year (n+1). In between there are 3-4 intermediate data deliveries for area and production data. By definition all data delivered before the last final delivery is to be considered preliminary data.

The data for vegetables and permanent crops are delivered only once (end of March year n+1), except for citrus fruits at the end of September year n+1 due to their late harvest.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable.

4. Unit of measure Top

The areas are expressed in 1 000 hectares.

The harvested quantities are expressed in 1 000 tonnes.

The yield is expressed in t/ha.

The humidity is expressed in %.

5. Reference Period Top

The reference period is the harvest year. The year 2015 indicates that the data refer to production which is harvested in 2015. Certain products, like root crops (fodder kale) or fruits (citrus fruits and olives) may be harvested over two consecutive calendar years (N and N+1), in which case the harvests is recorded by agreement under the preceding year (N).

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

Regulation (EC) No 543/2009 is in force since 2010. In 2015 the Annex of Regulation (EC) No 543/2009 was updated through Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 2015/1557.

For territorial units used for transmitting the regional data:

The ESS agreement on Annual Crop Statistics came into force in June 2015.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

No formal agreements in place.

7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

Most national data for annual crop statistics are not confidential. Some regional data are confidential due to very small number of producers (1-3). These data are not disseminated.  

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

The data are disseminated, in general, approximately two weeks after the data transmission deadlines, which are:

Year n (crop year):

  • 31 January: area for winter crops
  • 30 June: area for arable crops
  • 31 August: area and yield for arable crops
  • 30 September: area and production for arable crops
  • 31 October: area and production for arable crops

Year n+1 (year following the crop year):

  • 31 January: area and production for arable crops
  • 31 March: area and production for arable crops, area and production for vegetables and permanent crops
  • 30 September: final area and production for arable crops, area and production for citrus fruits, main areas for Utilised Agricultural Area.
8.2. Release calendar access

Please see 8.1

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top

The data are annual.

Eurostat receives and disseminates first provisional data several times per year, which is followed by final data (see 8.1).

10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

News releases on line (no regular press release calendar).

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Results are published in Agriculture, forestry and fishery statistics Statistical book and Regional yearbook.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

The crop statistics can be found in Eurobase

National level data (2000 onwards):

  • Crop statistics: area, production, yield and main area in EU standard humidity (apro_cpsh1)
  • Crop statistics: area, production, yield and main area in national humidity (apro_cpnh1)

Regional data (2000 onwards):

  • Regional crop statistics by NUTS 2: area, production and main area in EU standard humidity (apro_cpshr)
  • Regional crop statistics by NUTS 2: area, production and main area in national humidity (apro_cpnhr)

Historical data (1955-1999):

  • Crop statistics: area, production, yield and main area in national humidity (apro_cpnh1_h)
  • Regional crop statistics by NUTS 2: area, production and main area in national humidity (apro_cpnhr_h)
10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not applicable.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Not applicable.

10.6. Documentation on methodology

The  Annual Crop Statistics Handbook, rev. 2019 (see the Annex 1) gives a summary of the methodologies used for annual crop statistics.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

See the quality reports.

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Regulation (EC) No 543/2009 requires that the Member States transmit a quality report to Eurostat every three years. The first delivery deadline was 1 October 2011, the second delivery  on 1 October 2014 and the third delivery on 1 October 2017.

The Handbook on Annual Crop Statistics gives guidance on the methodology for collecing data on annual crop (Annex 1).

11.2. Quality management - assessment

Eurostat monitors regularly the quality of crop statistics. In general the availablility, completeness and punctuality are good, in particular for the data starting from 2000. The data prior to 2000 are available in a separate dissemination table.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

The main user of the crop statistics data is DG Agriculture and Rural development of the European Commission.  Other important users are:  other Commission services (e.g. DG Environment, the Joint Reserach Centre), other European institutions or agencies (e.g. EFSA), national administrations, National Statistical Institutes, economic actors (traders and processing industries, producer groups and unions), research institutes, journalists and the general public.

The objectives of these clients are various: analysis, dissemination, information for specialist and the general public, financial investors, forecasts, market management, decisions on production, internal and external trade, documentation, methodology, etc.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

No user satisfaction survey exist.

12.3. Completeness

Most of the requested data are available, but there are some missing data in the older time series. Please note that not all crop variables are covered by Regulations, and hence are not obligatory.

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

The accuracy for the final data delivery is assessed to be good.

13.2. Sampling error

According to the Regulation (EC) No 543/2009 the coefficient of variation of the data to be provided by 30 September of the yearn + 1 shall not exceed, at national level, 3 % for the area under cultivation for each of the following groups of main crops: cereals for the production of grain (including seed), dried pulses and protein crops for the production of grain (including seed and mixtures of cereals and pulses), root crops, industrial crops and plants harvested green.

13.3. Non-sampling error

Not available.

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

The deadlines for the data deliveries for different crops are listed in the table below:



Arable crops

31-Jan-year n


30-Jun-year n


31-Aug-year n


30-Sep-year n


31-Oct-year n


31-Jan-year n+1


30-Sep-year n+1


31-Mar-year n+1

Permanent crops

31-Mar-year n+1


30-Sep-year n+1

Main land use

30-Sep-year n+1

Up until the August deadline the figures are estimates of production and yield. From the September deadline onwards they are based on real production figures.  Normally the longest time lag between the event and the data availability is one year (for vegetables, permanent crops and land use).

14.2. Punctuality

Most data deliveries are on time. Most of the delayed data transmissions are late by some days only. 

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

Geographical comparability is very good.

Comparability of regional data over time is affected by breaks in the NUTS classification.

15.2. Comparability - over time

As the time series is very long (from 1955), the full comparability over time is impossible to guarantee, because of changed legal basis, methodologal changes, new classifications, new Member States starting to deliver data etc.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

More detailed data on some fruits and vineyards appear in the Orchard survey (the domain orch) and the Vineyard survey (the domain vit).

Agricultural land use data are collected also in the Farm Structure Survey (FSS) (domain ef). Overall crop and grassland area and land in agricultural use are collected also in the LUCAS survey (domain lan_lcv and lan_lu).

The cross-domain comparability is in general good. The slight differences are linked to different definitions and data collection methods.

15.4. Coherence - internal

Since the data are supplied by the Member States, they conduct the necessary checks before the data are sent to Eurostat

Data validation is performed at Eurostat to eliminate possible consistency errors.

16. Cost and Burden Top

The data are collected by the Member States mainly by using surveys, administrative sources and expert estimates. The exact cost of the data collection is not known by Eurostat.

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

The data are transmitted on dates stipulated by legislation (see 15.1). Initially, the data are provisional; the final data are transmitted the year following the harvest. 

17.2. Data revision - practice

The data are constantly updated. The updates normally concern the last two years but may concern a longer period in the event of major revisions.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

Surveys, administrative data and estimates based on expert observations are the main data sources. The sources are not the same for every Member State but are adapted to national conditions and statistical practices. For the data governed by the regulation, the quality level is indicated in the legislation.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Data is collected yearly. Member States send first provisional data which is updated when the final data become available (see 15.1.'Timeliness').

18.3. Data collection

The crop statistics are collected by the National Statistical Institutes and/or Ministries of Agriculture by using several statistical methods:

- sample surveys

- administrative sources

- expert estimates

Most often a combination of several methods is used.

The Member States are required to send the data via eDamis on all variables listed in the Regulation (EC) No 543/2009, unless they have reported some crops as non-significant or as non-existing crops in the country. In addition the Members States have to send to Eurostat all data required by the ESS agreement on annual crop statistics. Regular reminders are sent if the countries haven't submitted the data covered by the regulation.

18.4. Data validation

The Member States are responsible for checking and validating the data before the submission to Eurostat. Validation at Eurostat level concerns transmission errors and data consistency.

18.5. Data compilation

The Member States send the national data to Eurostat. Eurostat is responsible for calculation of the EU-aggregates.

Due to different revision policy for the EU aggregates and the Member States' data, there may be a difference between the EU aggregate and the sum of national data between updates. The area aggregates are calculated by summing up the national areas delivered by the EU Member States. The production aggregates for cereals, oilseeds, dry pulses and plants harvested green are standardized to the standard EU-humidities:



Standard EU aggregate humidity

Cereals (except rice)

14 %


13 %

Dry pulses and protein crops

14 %

Rape and turnip rape seeds

  9 %

Sunflower seed

  9 %

Soya seed

14 %

Linseed (oil flax)

  9 %

Cotton seed

  9 %

All Plants harvested green



The Member States deliver the production data by either fixed or varying humidity degrees. These humidity degrees are available in the Eurostat dissemination database under the dimension 'Humidity' in the national views.

The calculation of the standard humidity (HU) is based on the following formula:

Production in the EU standard Humidity   =  (Harvested production  x  (100 – national  HU))/(100 – EU standard HU)

18.6. Adjustment

Not applicable.

19. Comment Top

Not applicable.

Related metadata Top

Annexes Top
ACS Handbook 2020 (v0.1)