Press release: 12.614-205/21

Less, but larger agricultural and forestry holdings, more organic farms

Vienna, 2021-09-22 – In 2020, there were 155 900 agricultural and forestry holdings in Austria, as Statistics Austria announced on the basis of preliminary results of the Farm Structure Survey 2020 as of September 2021. Overall, the structural change in domestic agriculture has continued over the past ten years: The number of agricultural and forestry holdings fell by 17 400 or 10% compared to 2010, and the trend towards larger holdings continued. 86 700 farms or 56% also kept livestock in 2020, compared to 63% in 2010. Around 20% of the farms are organic ones, ten years ago the proportion was 14%. At 91%, the largest share of agricultural and forestry holdings in Austria is still run in the form of family businesses.

Trend towards larger farms

Though the structure of Austria’s agriculture remains small-scale, however, a trend towards larger holdings is still obvious: Some ten years ago, one holding managed a total area of 42.4 hectares on average, in 2020 this average has grown to 45.1 hectares. A similar development was observed for the utilised agricultural area (arable land, kitchen gardens, permanent crops, permanent grassland), where an increase from 18.8 to 21.1 hectares was recorded. The average area used for forestry has increased from 23.4 hectares in 2010 to 25.1.

This general tendency can also be monitored in livestock farming. Ten years ago, one agricultural holding kept 28 cattle in average; since then the average has risen to 34 cattle. The per-holding-average of swine stock increased from 85 pigs in 2010 to 111 pigs in 2020.

Final and detailed results on the 2020 Farm Structure Survey will be published in the second quarter of 2022. For more detailed results and further information please refer to the German version on our website.

Information on methods, definitions: The Farm Structure Survey 2020 was mandatory in all EU member states and was partially funded by the European Union. The survey was carried out as a full survey with the reference date 1 March 2020 in accordance with Regulation (EU) No. 2018/1091 as amended, as well as national regulation, Federal Law Gazette II No. 279/2019.  Redefinition of the survey thresholds for the Farm Structure Survey 2020 to three hectares of agricultural area (excluding special crops) or three hectares of forest area. 
Total area:
Agricultural and forestry area as well as the unproductive areas of the unit. 
Utilised agricultural area:
arable land, house and kitchen gardens, permanent crops, permanent grassland.

For further inquiries please contact Directorate Spatial Statistics, Statistics Austria:  
DI Stefan PEYR, Tel.: +43 1 71128-7532 resp. und  
Martina DÖTZL, Tel.: +43 1 71128-7344 resp.

Media owner, producer and publisher: 
STATISTICS AUSTRIA, Federal Institution under Public Law 
1110 Vienna, Austria, Guglgasse 13, Tel.: +43 1 71128-7777