Information on data

Structure of agricultural holdings

This summarises the main data in the Eurofarm database and contains the results of Community surveys on the structure of agricultural holdings, i.e. labour force, size of holdings, land use, livestock, subsistence farming. This domain also contains the main indicators on the structure of agricultural holdings by region.

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What is available?

The Farm structure statistics provide harmonised data on agricultural holdings in the EU, including:

  • Number of agricultural holdings
  • Land use and area (crops)
  • Livestock
  • Main crops
  • Farm Labour Force (including age, gender and relationship to the holder)
  • Economic size of the holdings
  • Specialisation (more information on Standard Output Coefficients)
  • Other gainful activity on the farm
  • System of farming
  • Machinery
  • Organic farming

Uses of the data

The purpose of the Farm structure surveys is to obtain reliable data, at regular intervals, on the structure of agricultural holdings in the European Union in order to:

  • Assess the agricultural situation across the EU
  • Monitor trends and transitions in the structure of European farms (agricultural holdings)
  • Manage, evaluate and design the Common Agricultural Policy in its environmental, economical and social aspects.

FSS data is also used in other policy areas such as environment, regional development and climate change.

Frequency of the surveys

  • Every ten years, a full scope survey is carried out in the form of an agricultural census.
  • The Agricultural Census 2010 took place in EU Member States. The results are published in the Eurostat public database and are also available at EU level and at country level in Statistics Explained: Agricultural census 2010
  • Every 2 or 3 years, between the censuses, sample surveys are carried out.
  • The results of the sample survey carried out in 2013 are available in the Eurostat public database and in the Statistics Explained article:  Farm structure survey 2013 - main results

Structure of orchards

This domain contains data on the plantations of seven species of fruit trees: dessert apples, dessert pears, peaches, apricots, oranges, lemons and small-fruited citrus fruits; certain information is also available on cooking apples and cooking pears. The results referring to the characteristics of these species are: age classes, density and varieties, which are recorded per country and production zone.

Structure of vineyards

This database contains the results of surveys of areas under vines (basic, every 10 years, and intermediate, annually) carried out by Member States with at least 500 ha under vines in the open air (Germany, Greece, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Austria and the United Kingdom) in accordance with Council Regulation (EEC) No 357/79 of February 1979. The aim is to assess the situation and developments in the grape-growing sector in the European Union.

Economic Accounts for Agriculture

The agricultural accounts, a satellite to national accounts, show detailed results of the income generated by agricultural activities over a given accounting period. Values for output, input, gross value added, subsidies and taxes are available in current and constant prices. Furthermore, indices for the developments are shown. One of the main indicators is the real net value added at factor cost (Factor income) of agriculture per total annual work unit. Data are published in December (1st estimate for the year n), March (2nd estimate for the year n-1) and November (final data for the year n-1).

Agricultural products

This domain includes data shown in physical units (number, weight, quantity):

  • land use, annual data;
  • livestock (number and structure), annual data;
  • crop production (area, yield, production), annual data;
  • meat, milk and milk products production and activity of hatcheries (incubation and trade), monthly and annual data;
  • summary data (balance sheets), annual data.

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What is available?

Agricultural production data refers to vegetable and animal production that is made available for human consumption and animal feed.

Crop production data include:

  • cereals
  • main crops (dried pulses and protein crops, root crops, industrial crops, plants harvested green)
  • vegetables, melons and strawberries
  • permanent crops (fruits, olive trees and vineyards)
  • agricultural land use for utilised agricultural area (arable land, permanent crops, permanent grassland, …)

and refer to:

  • areas under cultivation (cereals and main crops), (expressed in 1 000 hectares),
  • harvested areas (vegetables), (expressed in 1 000 hectares),
  • production area (permanent crops) (expressed in 1 000 hectares),
  • harversted production (expressed in 1 000 tonnes) and
  • yield per hectare (expressed in 100 kg/hectare)

 Animal production data cover:

  • bovine animals
  • sheep
  • goats
  • pigs
  • poultry

  And refer to:

  • livestock (expressed in number of animals)
  • slaughtering (expressed in number of animals and tonnes)
  • milk and dairy production (quantities produced and used on farm and in dairies)
  • production of eggs for hatching
  • trade of chicks

Uses of the data

Agricultural production data are used to define policy measures as diverse as:

  • Analysing developments in agricultural markets and how they respond to policy actions;
  • Ensuring quality in food and animal feed
  • Promotion of farm products
  • Ensuring animal welfare and health
  • Actions in case of serious animal diseases or human health risk due to agricultural products.

This data reflects the large diversity of agricultural products that are made available for consumption. Agricultural products are an important part of the cultural identity of European citizens and regions.

Agricultural production data can answer questions such as:

  • What are the main crops harvested in the European Union?
  • How much milk is produced for consumption?
  • How is evolving the meat production from different cattle categories?
  • What is the share of cereal production between the Member States?
  • How is the agricultural land used in the Member States?
  • What are the shares of arable land and permanent crops?
  • Which European regions produce the goat and ewe milk?

Organic farming

Organic farming can be defined as a method of production which places the highest emphasis on environmental protection and, with regard to livestock production, on animal welfare considerations. It avoids or largely reduces the use of synthetic chemical inputs such as fertilisers, pesticides, additives and medicinal products. The production of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their use in animal feed are forbidden.

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Organic farming differs from other agricultural production methods in the application of regulated standards (production rules), compulsory control schemes and a specific labelling scheme.

The collected statistics cover the following data:

  1. The number of operators such as producers (agricultural holdings, aquaculture production units), processors, importers, exporters and other operators (wholesalers, retailers, etc.)
     
  2. Crop area under organic production (fully converted area) and under conversion
     
  3. Organic crop production (production from fully converted area)
     
  4. Number of organic livestock and aquaculture production
     
  5. Organic products of animal origin
     
  6. Number of operators processing products issued from organic farming (based on NACE classification)

An indicator is calculated to provide information on the share of organic area in the total Utilised Agricultural Area. The data on the total area are provided by crop production statistics (statistics of land use). The indicator is one of the "Sustainable Development Indicators".

Agricultural prices and price indices

This domain contains quarterly and annual data on agricultural price indices (2010=100) and annual data on absolute prices and agricultural land prices and rents. The agricultural price statistics provide information on the development of producer prices of agricultural products (output) as well as of the purchase prices (input) of the goods and services consumed by agriculture in the production process. Price indices data are available for single commodities and for larger aggregates at the country and EU level.