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Agriculture & forestry

In brief

Agricultural holdings

In Germany there are round 275,400 agricultural holdings. Still most of them are sole proprietorships, which means that farmers operate their businesses alone or together with their families.

The agricultural holdings section contains extensive information on the holdings themselves – for example their legal form and whether they are run as a primary or secondary activity, other gainful activities – and on whether holdings have converted to organic farming or operate renewable energy installations. You will also find data on labour, farm succession, ownership and tenancy as well as purchasing values of agricultural real estate.

Use our contact form to request data also on the following subjects: type of farming, grants received in support of rural development, calculation of profits and turnover taxation of holdings, vocational training of the managers of agricultural holdings.

Animals and animal production

Livestock keeping accounts for a considerable share of total value added in agriculture. The animals and animal production section gives an overview of stocks of cattle, pigs, sheep, poultry and other livestock. It also informs about the structure of livestock keeping.

Animal production includes the production of meat, eggs and milk and of hatching eggs and newly hatched chicks. Results are also presented in this section.

Current data on the production of milk is provided by the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food.

Fisheries

The fisheries section comprises the branches which breed and catch water species. They supply the population with food and provide raw materials for further processing. Included are aquaculture, deep-sea and coastal fisheries, river and lake fisheries.

Aquaculture describes the controlled nursing of aquatic animals and plants. Today it plays an increasingly important role in supplying the world population with fish, crustaceans, molluscs and algae. Aquaculture data give an insight into the structure and development of aquacultural production in Germany.

Data on deep-sea and coastal fisheries are provided by the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food.

Field crops and grassland

Arable land is cultivated mainly to produce food and fodder and to supply renewable raw materials for industry and energy production. Field crops are arable crops cultivated in the open by arable farming such as cereals, potatoes, sugar beet, oleaginous fruit and plants for green harvesting.

Land is mostly used as grassland when arable farming is not possible, for instance due to the climate. Grassland includes permanent meadows, pastures and low-yielding permanent grassland. Grassland farming is of particular importance especially for the production of fodder and for landscape management.

In this section you will find detailed information on the land cultivated each year, harvested quantities of field crops, on areas under grassland and grassland yields. These data are collected annually, in the month of May, by the main survey of land use and during the year by the reports on crop yields and holdings.

Fruit, vegetables, horticulture

There are very many types and varieties of fruit and vegetables.
Asparagus, carrots and onions are the main vegetable types grown in Germany in terms of the cultivated area. The production of mushrooms is of great importance, too.

Fruit production comprises the cultivation of top fruit, bush berries and strawberries. Home-grown apples are the dominating type of top fruit in terms of cultivated area and harvested quantities. The cultivation of strawberries has increased considerably in the past. When it comes to bush berries, the largest quantities harvested are those of cultivated blueberries.

The fruit, vegetables, horticulture section contains information also on ornamental plants and tree nurseries.

Wine

Wine growing has a long-standing tradition in Germany. It decisively influenced the way in which the wine-producing regions have developed both economically and culturally. Rheinhessen is the largest wine-growing region in Germany. The most important vine variety is Weißer Riesling.

Compared with other countries of the European Union, wine is not grown on a large scale due to the climate. Germany accounts for just under 3% of the vineyard area in the European Union and approximately 6% of European wine production. This section contains information on the production of wine, stocks of wine, area of vineyards and structures of wine-grower holdings.

Forests and wood

The forestry sector produces raw materials and also contributes essentially to the conservation of forests – especially for shelter and recreation purposes. Forestry is the second most important type of land use after agriculture in terms of the area used.

This section contains information on the woodland of agricultural and forestry holdings in Germany and data on logging.

Production methods

Environmentally friendly and effective agricultural production methods help to use natural resources sparingly and preserve semi-natural habitats. Simultaneously, they may contribute to making food production much more efficient.

This section presents data on methods of livestock keeping, feeding, quantities of farm manure produced and applied, soil cultivation and irrigation. The figures are based on the results of several surveys.

Land use

Land use is essential as a basis for decisions relevant to regional planning and the environment. Sustainable land use is an important aspect, with the expansion of the housing and transport area being a significant indicator.

This section provides data on how the total area of Germany is used. The agricultural area represents more than 50% and the wooded area over 30% of the total area. The housing and transport area accounts for more than 13%.

Additional Information

Key figures

Agricultural holdings2016275,400
Organic farms201619,900
Labour2016940,000
Utilised agricultural area201516.7 mn ha
Pigs201727.2 mn
Cattle201712.4 mn
Eggs produced2016 12 bn

Press

Piktogramm Presse

For current press releases on the theme of agriculture and forestry, fisheries please go to our press pages.

© Statistisches Bundesamt (Destatis), 2017

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