According to provisional data in the register of agricultural and horticultural enterprises, there were roughly 47,700 agricultural and horticultural enterprises in Finland in 2018. The number of farms decreased by nearly 1,000 from the year before, but at a slower pace than in previous years. During 2018, nearly two per cent of farms stopped operating, while the general rate of discontinued operations has been two or three per cent in recent years.
The average field area increased by nearly one hectare to 48 hectares. Information about the average size of farms in the EU states has been compiled since 2013. The average size ranges from one hectare in Malta to more than 130 hectares in the Czech Republic. In 2013, the average size of farms in the EU-28 was 16 hectares.
Other plant production is now the primary production line
In 2018, other plant production was the primary production line for the first time. 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.
“In 2018, other plant production was the primary production line on roughly 15,500 farms and cereal production on roughly 15,200 farms. It will be interesting to see how this situation develops”, says Jaana Kyyrä, senior statistician at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).
Livestock production was the primary production line on roughly one-fourth of all farms, as in 2017. By far the most common primary production line on livestock farms was dairy cattle production, which was the primary production line on approximately 6,300 farms.
One-fourth of all farmers are over 60 years of age
The average age of farmers was 53 years in 2018. 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 at an average age was 60 years. On family-run farms, the average age of farmers was 52 years.
“The number of farmers of over 70 years is increasing rapidly. Roughly one-fourth of all farmers are over 60 and only 16 per cent are under 40. It seems that more and more people continue to run their farms, even at the retirement age. However, it also seems that many stopped to run their farms well before retirement last year”, Kyyrä says.
Of all agricultural and horticultural enterprises in Finland, 86 per cent were family-run farms. There were fewer than 1,000 limited liability farms, comprising two per cent of all farms. Less than nine per cent were farming syndicates and some two per cent were farms owned by heirs.
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 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. The final results will be published at the end of April.
For more information and tables related to the statistics, please visit stat.luke.fi/en.