Rental of arable land is very common these days, as many farmers have given up active agricultural production and rent their land to other farmers requiring additional land.
In 2014, approximately 777,000 hectares, i.e. about one-third of the available agricultural land, was cultivated on a rental basis and 60 per cent of farms used rented fields. Livestock farms favour this form of land access above average: more than 80 per cent of pig and cattle farms use rented land.
More than 50,000 farms remain in Finland
In 2014, the number of agricultural and horticultural enterprises in Finland totalled 52,775. The number of farms has declined by 1,600, or about 3 per cent in one year, and by 6,700 since 2010. At the current rate, the number of farms will fall below 50,000 in 2016. This information is based on statistics compiled by the Natural Resources Institute of Finland (Luke).
Despite the decreasing number of farms, the area of agricultural land in use is increasing. In 2014, farms utilised 2.27 million hectares of agricultural land on average, up by 8,500 hectares year-on-year. In 2014, the average size of farms was 43 hectares, 1.5 hectares more than the year before. Family farms in private ownership accounted for 87 per cent of all farms, while the number of agricultur-al consortiums was 4,365, farms owned by heirs to an estate 1,446, and limited liability companies 859.
The share of livestock farms is declining
The share of crop-producing farms is increasing and that of livestock farms is decreasing. In 2014, crop production was the main line of production on approx-imately 65 per cent of farms, and livestock on just over 30 per cent. Other farms engaged in mixed production. In 2014, approximately 36 per cent of farms were engaged in grain growing, the most popular production line, and about 15 per cent were dairy farms, which is the most common production line in the livestock sector.
The average age of farmers is 50 years
The average age of farmers remained at 50.6 years. In general, farmers on live-stock farms are younger than the average, while farmers whose main production line is horticultural production are the oldest. Their average age was 53 years. Poultry farmers’ average age, 47.5 years, is the lowest.
Background to the statistics
The structure statistics on agricultural and horticultural enterprises contain infor-mation on the number, land use forms and production lines of these enterprises, and farmers in Finland. The statistics provide an overall view of Finnish agricul-tural and horticultural enterprises by illustrating the structure of farms, ownership and production, as well as the number and age structure of farmers. Finland’s agricultural administration databases are the primary source of information for the statistics.
The tables related to the statistics are available online at Maataloustilastot.fi service, Structure of agricultural and horticultural enterprises section.