May 20, 2024


Latvia sees 31.7% decline in number of farms over two decades, average farm size doubles


Over the past 20 years, the number of farms in Latvia has decreased by 31.7%, while the average size of farms has increased by 2.3 times, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia (CSP), Baltic News Network reported.


Last year, Latvia had 57,400 farms, a reduction of 11,600 or 17% compared to 2020. Despite the decline in the number of farms, the area of agricultural land remained steady at 1.97 million hectares over the past three years. The average farm size has been gradually increasing, reaching 34.8 hectares of farmland and 7.7 livestock units last year.


The number of small farms, those with up to 10 hectares of agricultural land, has decreased by 8,200 since 2020. Conversely, the number of large farms, managing over 100 hectares of land, has increased by 200. These large farms managed 68.9% of all agricultural land last year, up 8% from 2020, and raised 54% of all livestock, a 2.4% increase from 2020.


An economically active farm now manages an average of 34.8 hectares of agricultural land, 6.3 hectares more than in 2020. Over the last three years, the area of managed arable land and arable crops has increased by 4.3 hectares (22.5%) and 4.1 hectares (22.4%) respectively.


Since 2020, the area devoted to cereals and legumes has grown on average per farm. In 2023, an average farm grew 44.7 hectares of cereals, 7.4 hectares more than in 2020, and 24.1 hectares of legumes, an increase of 7.7 hectares.


The number of dairy cattle and swine on livestock farms has also increased on average per farm. The average number of dairy cattle per farm rose from 12 in 2020 to 15 in 2023. On large farms, the average number of dairy cattle increased by 20, reaching 148.


Similarly, the average number of swine per farm doubled from 90 in 2020 to 192 in 2023. Large farms saw an average increase of 266 swine per farm, or 20.2%, bringing the average to 1,583 swine per farm. Small farms had an average of 142 swine.


Integrated farm statistics surveys are conducted every three years between agricultural censuses, which occur every 10 years. These surveys use a common methodology across all European Union and European Economic Area countries.


-       Baltic News Network

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