Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

A database of farm typologies and land use in the CEECs

Farm typology and land use were characterized on the basis of official statistical data. These cover NUTS 1-2, and partly NUTS3. Farms were characterized by size, type of ownership and type of production. Present farm typology in the CEECs depends both on historical drivers and on political decisions taken during the transition period. In some CEECs, farms fill not only economic, but also social functions, such as securing employment (Poland, Romania).

In Poland from 1996 to 2002 there was a general tendency to decrease farm numbers, and only farms in two size groups increased (1-2ha - social, and >20ha - market oriented farms). Especially large increases were observed in the size group >50ha (by 56% in comparison to 1996). Regional analysis undertaken for Poland showed a linear relationship between farm size and cattle numbers per 100ha in the range of farm size from 1 to 20ha.

For larger farms, catlle numbers per 100ha decreased and was very small for farms >50ha. A similar trend was found for pigs with threshold farm sizes of 50ha. This suggests that farms >50ha could be diversified into 2 groups: those oriented to cash crops or to animal production. The latter group was smaller than the former.

Land use in particular regions of the CEECs was characterized by a percentage of utilised agriculutral area (UAA) (arable land, meadows and pastures, and forest), crop structure and livestock number per 100ha. Generally, land use was dependent mainly on topographic influences. The exception is the large forested area (50%) of the lowland region, Lubuskie (Poland). The share of arable land in the UAA for Bulgaria ranged from 28.7 to 78.9% (average 61.3%), for the Czech Republic 45.8-84.2% (71.8%), Hungary 66.9-82.4% (76.9%) and Poland 64.2-88.2% (77.3%). The smallest values reflected regions that are located in mountain areas, for others - the share of arable land is >60%. Whilst land use is quite a stable parameter, the structure of arable land is more dynamic. The majority of arable land is under cereals (mainly wheat).

Wheat areas are very large in regions located in the southern and central parts of the CEECs (>50%). For Poland, wheat areas are much lower (29.1%), being mainly the result of unsuitable soil conditions. For these conditions rye, triticale - hybrid of wheat and rye, and mixtures of barley and oats are more suitable for cultivation. Whilst, the range of both cattle and pig numbers per 100 ha of UAA are similar for the Czech Rep. and Poland, they are much lower for Bulgaria. The opposite situation is observed for sheep. Cattle numbers per 100 ha of UAA were weakly correlated with the percentage of meadow in the UAA for Poland and Bulgaria, and not correlated for the Czech Rep. Instead, cattle numbers were strongly correlated with the percentage of fodder crops within arable land (Poland and Czech Rep.)

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Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Agrophysics
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