Agricultural and horticultural farms
23,000 agricultural and horticultural farms in Flanders
In 2019, there were 23,318 agricultural and horticultural farms in the Flemish Region, 77% of which can be considered professional farms. This means that the farm has a standard yield of at least 25,000 euros. The number of agricultural and horticultural farms fell by approximately one third compared to 2005.
Average agricultural surface per farm increased by almost half
Between 2005 and 2019, the average surface of agricultural land per farm increased by almost half, to 26.7 hectares (ha). Smaller farms in particular are discontinuing their activities, which leads to ever larger agricultural surfaces for use by the remaining farms.
The average livestock density per farm is also indicative of an increase in scale. The average number of livestock units per farm and the average number of livestock per specialised cattle, pig and poultry farm increased continuously between 2005 and 2019.
Average surface per agricultural farm highest in Flemish Brabant and Limburg
The average surface per agricultural farm is highest in Flemish Brabant and Limburg and lowest in West and East Flanders.
Number of organic farms more than doubled between 2010 and 2019
At the end of 2019, 562 organic farms were in operation in the Flemish Region, including those in conversion. This means that between 2010 and 2019 the number of organic producers has grown by an average of 9% per year and the number of organic farms more than doubled.
All organic farms together cultivated 8,677 ha (of which 6,974 ha organic land and 1,703 ha in conversion). This too is an increase of almost 10% compared to 2018. By the end of 2019, the organic farms farmed about 1.4% of the total agricultural surface.
The share of organic farms is highest in Flemish Brabant, Antwerp and Limburg.
Standard yield: the monetary value of gross agricultural production per unit at farm-gate prices excluding VAT. Subsidies are not taken into account. Specific costs (seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, fodder, energy, etc.) are not deducted either.
Livestock unit (LU): an agricultural conversion factor. For example, any bovine animal older than 2 years and a breeding horse older than 6 months corresponds to 1 LU, a bovine animal of 6 months to 2 years is 0.6 LU, breeding sows 0.3 LU, meat pigs 0.143 LU, sheep and goats 0.15 LU, egg-producing hens 0.009 LU and meat chickens 0.003 LU.
Farms in conversion: in order to turn a conventional farm into an organic farm, the farmer has to 'convert'. If the farmer follows the organic rules and the control organisation issues him a certificate, the farmer is certified 'in conversion to organic' after one year. After two years (for annual crops such as vegetables) or three years (for perennial crops such as pit fruit) the farmer receives the official organic certificate from the control organisation and is allowed to sell his product as organic.