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The main results of the 2007 Farm Structure Survey have been published today, 18 December 2008. The Survey was carried out in June 2007 on a sample of all farms with at least 1 hectare of land farmed.

The Farm Structure Survey gives more detail than the June Crops and Livestock release and it updates to 2007 many of the tables of the June 2000 Census of Agriculture, Farm Structure Survey 2003 and Farm Structure Survey 2005. Topics covered include: area farmed; area under various types of crops; numbers of livestock and poultry; the farm workforce; and the extent of involvement in non-agricultural activities (such as tourism, forestry etc.).

Some of the findings emerging from the survey are:

• There were 128,200 active farms in June 2007, compared to 141,500 in June 2000. This was a fall of some 9.4% in the number of farms. The average size of farm increased from 31.4 hectares in 2000 to 32.3 hectares in 2007.

• Between 1991 and 2007 there has been a decrease of 42,400 farms, an average of 2,650 a year.

• There were 242,300 family and regular non-family workers engaged in farming in 2007, a drop of 6.0% on the 2000 figure of 257,900.

• In 2007, a little over half (52.5%) of farmers described farmwork as their sole occupation.

• In 2000, 39.5% of family farm holders were aged 55 or over; this age category represented 41.8% of holders in 2003, 47.7% of holders in 2005 and 50.5% of holders in 2007.

• In 2000, 13.0% of family farm holders were aged under 35; this age category represented 11.2% of holders in 2003, 8.2% of holders in 2005 and 7.0% of holders in 2007.

• Specialist beef production was the most common type of farming, accounting for over half of all farms in 2007.

For copies of the publication contact:

Central Statistics Office, Information Section, Skehard Road, Cork. 021- 4535011
Government Publications Sales Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.
Price: €20 [Copies can also be downloaded from the CSO website (see below)].

For further information contact:

Kevin Keady on 021-453 5046 or Colm Hassett 021-453 5367
Central Statistics Office, Skehard Road, Cork.
Internet: (PDF 10.2MB) (PDF 10,265KB)

18 December 2008

- ENDS -