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CSP: average size of agricultural areas increases in Latvia

In 2016 the average size of agricultural holding constituted 43.2 ha, which is 15.5 % more than in 2013 when the average land area per holding accounted for 37.4 ha. The total standard output has risen by 24.5 %. Nevertheless, the number of economically active farms has reduced by 14.5 %.

The utilised agricultural area (UAA) on average per holding grew by 20 % (from 23.0 ha in 2013 to 27.6 ha in 2016). In 2016, one agricultural holding employed on average 2.3 persons, which is 9.5 % more than in 2013.The largest farms were located in Zemgale and Kurzeme, where one holding on average managed 35.7 ha and 33.6 ha of UAA, respectively, according to data of the Farm Structure Survey 2016 compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.

Area of grain per holding rose by 3.6 ha – from 24.7 ha in 2013 to 28.3 ha in 2016. Areas of potato plantations have grown as well – from 0.6 ha in 2013 to 0.9 ha in 2016, and areas of forage crops increased by 2.9 ha reaching 17.2 ha on average per holding in 2016. Last year, sown areas of rape declined by 9.3 ha to 50.4 ha on average per holding.

In 2016, in Latvia there were 69.9 thousand economically active agricultural holdings, which were managing 1930.0 thousand ha of the UAA. Since 2013, the number of economically active agricultural holdings has decreased by 11.9 thousand or 14.5 %, whereas UAA has increased by 52.3 thousand ha or 2.8 %.

Out of the total UAA, 1288.9 thousand ha or 66.8 % were taken by arable land, 628.1 thousand ha or 32.5 % – by meadows and pastures, and 6.9 thousand ha or 0.4 % – by permanent crops.

Compared to 2013, the number of small holdings, which are managing less than 1 ha of UAA, reduced significantly – by 5.6 thousand last year. In 2016, 6.1 thousand agricultural holdings with UAA exceeding 50 ha managed 67.1 % of the total UAA, which is 9.4 % more than in 2013.

Regardless the fact that the number of small holdings (SO under EUR 14.9 thousand) in Latvia is still high – 59.5 thousand or 85.1 % of the total number of holdings – it is reducing gradually. In 2016, the number of small holdings was 18.8 % smaller than in 2013, and they were managing only 29.1 % of the total UAA. The total SO of small holdings diminished by 9.5 % last year. The number of large holdings (SO of EUR 100.0 thousand or more) rose by 35.2 %, compared to 2013, and these holdings managed 45.2 % of the total UAA. The total SO of the large holdings has risen by 35.9 %, compared to 2013.

Compared to 2013, last year the average number of livestock in one holding breeding livestock increased, nevertheless the number of such holdings dropped.

In 2016, one agricultural holding breeding respective livestock on average had 18 cattle, 9 dairy cows, 31 pigs, 35 sheep, 7 goats and 194 poultry.

Based on the total SO, last year agricultural holdings were mainly engaged in field cropping, dairying, mixed cropping, and livestock breeding. Field cropping farms are utilising 52.0 % of the total UAA. Compared to 2013, the number of field cropping farms has dropped by 21.4 %, whereas the total economic size thereof has risen by 39.0 %. The second most common farming type in Latvia is dairying, however, compared to 2013, the number of holdings engaged in this sector has declined by 21.6 %. Last year, the total SO of dairying farms constituted EUR 285.3 thousand, which is 3.7 % more than in 2013.


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