Which country has no farms?
Why are there fewer and fewer farms?
A survey from Bavaria from 2020 shows how big this problem is. According to this, more than half of the farm managers over 55 years of age state that their successors have not been clarified. The reasons for this are diverse. In addition to the high workload in agriculture and the uncertain profitability of a company, many potential successors are also deterred by the growing social criticism of today's production methods.
Nevertheless, the decline in operational tasks has slowed significantly since around 2016. This is partly explained by the fact that many farms have switched to organic farming. From 2012 to 2019, the number of organic farms rose by 40 percent to just under 34,000. Thanks to the higher and more stable prices for organic food, organic farms are able to work economically with less space and fewer animals.
In addition, the number of farms that have been farming as a sideline has been increasing for many years. Here the farm managers also have an activity outside of agriculture, which accounts for over 50 percent of the total income. In addition, more and more companies are taking advantage of the opportunity to generate income from agriculture-related areas, for example through forestry, the generation of regenerative energy or by keeping boarding horses and equestrian horses.
Nevertheless, the structural change will continue. However, at least currently, the growth in farm sizes seems to have reached its limits. For example, a survey on structural change from 2020 shows that the amount of space in the significantly larger businesses in eastern Germany is stagnating or in some cases is even declining.
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