News Agriculture, Garden, Statistic

According to provisional data in the register of agricultural and horticultural enterprises, there were roughly 48,600 agricultural and horticultural enterprises in Finland in 2017. The final results will be published at the beginning of May.

The number of farms decreased by more than 1,000 farms from the year before. Some two to three per cent of all farms discontinue their operations annually. The average size of farms was 46 hectares, showing an increase of one hectare from the previous year.

The number of farms is decreasing steadily in Finland. (Photo: Pixabay)

Other plant production increasing

Cereal production remained the most common primary production line in 2017, while other plant production is increasing rapidly. Other plant production is the primary production line of a farm when roughly two thirds of the farm’s revenue comes from, for example, oil plants, grass or caraway.

– If this trend continues, other plant production will be the most common primary production line of farms this year. In order to change this trend, there would have to be an increase in cereal prices, says Jaana Kyyrä, senior statistician from the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

Livestock production as the primary production line continues to decrease. In 2017, it was the primary production line on roughly one fourth of all farms. By far the most common primary production line on livestock farms was dairy cattle production, which was the primary production line on approximately 6,700 farms.

Family-run farm remains the most common type of farm

Of all agricultural and horticultural enterprises in Finland, 86 per cent were family-run farms. There were fewer than 1,000 limited liability farms, i.e. less than two per cent of all farms. Less than nine per cent were farming syndicates and less than three per cent were farms owned by heirs.

–  The number of limited liability farms increased by only ten farms from the year before. Starting from the beginning of 2018, the incorporation of farms has been facilitated by exempting farms from the transfer tax of four per cent. It will be interesting to see how this affects the number of limited liability farms, Kyyrä says.

Average age of farmers 53 years

The average age of farmers was 53 years in 2017. On limited liability farms, the average age of farmers was the lowest, i.e. 48 years. Farmers in charge of farms owned by heirs were the oldest. Their average age was 59 years. On family-run farms, the average age of farmers was 52 years.

– The number of farmers of over 65 years is increasing. In all other age groups, the number of farmers is falling. These figures indicate that fewer and fewer people start to run a farm, while there are people who stop running a farm in all age groups, Kyyrä says.

Background to the statistics

Statistics on the structure of agricultural and horticultural enterprises contain data on the number of agricultural and horticultural enterprises, their land use categories and production lines, as well as farmers in Finland. The statistics provide an overview of the ownership and production structure of Finnish agriculture and horticulture, as well as the number and age distribution of farmers. Most of the data for the statistics are pooled from rural administration registers. The figures presented here are provisional.

For more detailed data and tables related to the statistics, please visit stat.luke.fi/en.

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