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Business statistics, Agriculture
Karsten Larsen
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Farm Structure Survey

The survey is almost comparable from 1982 onwards. There is also a high degree of comparability with other European countries. Between 2009 and 2010 there is, however, a small break in the comparability since the statistics from 2010 onwards includes a number of small farms and additionally farms with fur animals. It means that the number of farms in 2010 is about 1.200 bigger than it otherwise would have been.

From around 1900 to 1981 the statistical surveys also included very small farms with an area of only hectares. These figures are available for the users in paper publications, but not online.

Comparability - geographical

Since 2010 all member states in EU has used the same threshold for inclusion of farms in the farm structure surveys. For this reason there is a high degree of comparability between countries. Denmark includes farms with fur animals – no other EU country does so. Denmark had until the autumn 2020 about 800 farms with fur animals with no other agricultural activities, neither other livestock nor crops. After 2020 mink farming has almost ceased to exist in Danish agriculture.

Comparability over time

The figures from the statistics are almost perfectly comparable from 1982 onwards.

  • The following surveys have been total censuses: 1977-83, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1999, 2010 and 2020.
  • The following surveys have been sample surveys: 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990-98, 2000-09, 2011-19 and 2021.

Generally the sample has been quite big with a participation of about 20-35 per cent of all holdings, in 2003, 2005 and 2007 even about 50 per cent.

The surveys have always had a lower threshold so that small holdings are excluded from the survey. This threshold has currently been revised through the years:

  • 1977-82: The surveys included all holdings with at least 0,5 hectares or at least a production with a value corresponding to 0,5 hectares with barley.
  • 1983-1994: The surveys included all holdings with at least 5,0 hectares or at least at standard gross margin of 3.000 euros at 1985 prices.
  • 1995-2009: The surveys included all holdings with at least 5,0 hectares or at least a standard gross margin of 4.000 euros at 1990 or 1995 prices.

From 2010 Eurostat introduced in co-operation with the EU member states a harmonization of the thresholds for inclusion of holdings in the survey. These thresholds are described in regulation 1166/2008 in Annex II. They are minimum requirements which could be complemented by more strict national requirements. Hereafter Statistics Denmark includes all holdings which fulfill just one of the following criteria:

  1. An agricultural area of at least 5,0 hectares
  2. A standard output of at least 7.500 euros
  3. Fruits, berries and nursery area of at least 0,5 hectares
  4. Vegetables and strawberries of at least 0,5 hectares
  5. Greenhouse and mushrooms of at least 1.000 m2
  6. At least 10 cattle
  7. At least 50 pigs
  8. At least 10 sows
  9. At least 20 sheep
  10. At least 20 goats
  11. At least 1.000 poultries
  12. At least 40 fur animals

From 2010 Statistics Denmark has included holdings with fur animals in the agricultural and horticultural survey.

These new thresholds mean that the number of farms is about 1.200 bigger than it would have been otherwise.

Coherence - cross domain

The statistics are comparable the statistics on pigs and cattle. The accounts statistics for agriculture includes only farms with at least 25.000 euros in standard output and have 17.518 farms in 2021 against 31.395 farms in the farm structure survey.

Coherence - internal

For each survey all the collected answers are stored in one register with all survey characteristics included in the survey. There is one and only one extrapolation factor per farm. For this reason no inconsistency can occur.