Less arable land, fewer arable farmers

25/03/2002 10:00

The area of land used for arable farming diminished by more than ten percent between 1990 and 2001. The number of farmers specialising in arable crops also fell. While more than 16 thousand arable farmers grew crops on 535 thousand hectares in 1990, these figures had fallen to fewer than 13 thousand farmers and only 474 thousand hectares, one quarter of all agricultural land.

Large differences between provinces

The decline in arable farming is especially noticeable in the three largest arable provinces: Zeeland, Flevoland and Groningen. Arable farming has diminished substantially in these provinces in the last ten years.

Share of arable farming in agricultural production

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In the early nineties arable farming in the province of Zeeland accounted for more than sixty percent of the agricultural production in this province. In 2001 this had fallen to just over fifty percent.

The trend is similar in Flevoland and Groningen. In Flevoland arable farmers supplied more than half of agricultural output in the early nineties; by 2001 this had fallen to 42 percent of the total production of this province.

In Groningen, too, half of the provincial agricultural output consisted of arable products. By 2001 this was only one third.

Cor Pierik