Average size of agricultural holdings is growing, while number of holdings – decreasing

29.04.2014

Provisional results of Farm Structure Survey 2013 show that as the average size of agricultural holdings increases, the number of economically active agricultural holdings in Latvia has dropped by 3.3 thousand or by 4% from 83.4 thousand in 2010 to 80.1 thousand in 2013.

In 2013 the average size of agricultural holdings was 36.9 ha or 2.4 ha more than in 2010. The average utilised agricultural area (UAA) per holding was 21.8 ha or 0.3 ha more than in 2010. The arable land and total sown area per holding has increased too. 

Average size of agricultural holdings, ha

The average number of livestock per agricultural holding also keeps increasing. On July 1, 2013 the average number of livestock in a livestock breeding agricultural holding was 14 cattle, of which 7 dairy cows, 29 pigs, 25 sheep and 6 goats. For comparison, in 2010 one such holding was breeding 11 cattle, of which 6 dairy cows, 21 pigs, 22 sheep and 6 goats.

Average number of livestock per holding on July 1, 2013

Farm Structure Survey 2013 included agricultural holdings with the agricultural area over 1 ha or standard output (SO)1 over 70 EUR, regardless of the area. In total 30.0 thsd agricultural holdings were surveyed.

For Farm Structure Survey data collection, the CSB applied the following methods: respondents could fill in the questionnaire form on the internet, face-to-face interviews conducted by Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre (LRATC) interviewers as well as telephone interviews conducted by CSB interviewers. The CSB also used administrative databases: Animal Register and organic farming statistics information systems managed by the Agricultural Data Centre, and Integrated Administration and Control Systems supervised by the Rural Support Service.

Number of surveyed agricultural holdings by data collection method, %

In 2013, as compared to the data collection methods used for Farm Structure Survey 2010, there was an increase in the number of those respondents who filled in the questionnaire forms on the internet. 1.3 thousand or 4.3% respondents submitted the data electronically. In 2010 the share of forms completed on the internet was only 0.7%.

The response rate in Farm Structure Survey 2013 was 97% of the agricultural holdings included in the sample; 3% respondents did not provide the requested information.

More detailed provisional results of Farm Structure Survey 2013 will be published in a press release of 22 October 2014, and final results on 17 December 2014.

 

Prepared by Agricultural Statistics Section
Ilze Januška
Tel. +371 67366896


1Standard output ‑ indicator characterising the economic activity of agricultural holdings, i.e., value acquired from one hectare of agricultural crops or one livestock head (unit), estimated at prices of the corresponding region and expressed in EUR.