Single farmers have smaller farms

20/05/2009 15:00

Farmers whose partner also works on the farm have larger farms than single farmers or farmers who run their farm without the help of their partner. Approximately 27 percent of Dutch farmers are single, 62 percent have partners who also work on the farm.

Size agricultural holdings by age category, 2008

Size agricultural holdings by age category, 2008

Relation between farm area and partner

The average farm size in 2008 was 85 Dutch size units (nge). The holdings of farmers whose partners work alongside them are on average 15 percent larger. The farm area is 28 percent below average, if the farmer’s partner does not work on the farm and the farm area of single farmers is 22 percent below average. The largest difference in area is between farmers with partners who participate in the farm work and those with partners who do not.

Farmers and their partners by age category, 2008

Farmers and their partners by age category, 2008

In most cases, both partners work on the farm

There are 67 thousand farmers in the Netherlands; 27 percent are single, 62 percent have partners also working on the farm and 11 percent have partners who do not work on the farm. Most partners participate in the farm work. The farmer’s age hardly plays a part in this respect.

Young farmers have large farms

Farms of young farmers who run their business without the help of their partner are on average fifty percent larger than the farms of young single farmers. Farmers in the age category 25–30 without partners working alongside them on average have 1.3 labour years carried out by workers outside the family circle. Thus, they succeed in getting all the work done that is required on a large farm.

Nelet Kuipers and Wim de Rooij