Country Profiles – Germany

The German section of the agri benchmark Network is managed by the scientists working in the agri benchmark Center within the Thünen-Institut in Braunschweig. Through different projects and with support of commercial partners and research undertaken in the course of dissertation projects the number of typical farms in different German regions has been extended continuously.

In the past, the focus was on farms in the North of Germany and large scale farms in the East. In order to capture also smaller agricultural structures the agri benchmark Center is in the process of adding typical farms in the southern and western regions.

In the following, you find some basic information on the agricultural sector in Germany in general. In addition to that we provide further information on individual typical farms. As a start the reader will find data (as download) on the typical farm DE360OW and how it represents the region Ostwestfalen in Western Germany. Information on the other German typical farms will be added gradually.

Arable Farming in Germany

Germany’s climate is moderate and rather homogenous. During summer months the long term average temperature across the country is 17°C and during winter months 1°C. While most regions in Germany receive between 700 and 800 mm rain per year, precipitation in the Eastern part is significantly lower having only 400-600 mm.

Share of wheat acreage per arable land (2007)
map: share of acreage per arable land

The dark green areas in this map show the hot spots of German wheat production, where wheat has a share of more than 30 % in the arable land cultivated. agri benchmark has established typical farms in all these important wheat growing regions.

Share of rapeseed acreage per arable land (2007)
map: share of rapeseed per arable land

A high percentage of rapeseed is found along the coast with the Baltic Sea. The typical farm DE 1600 MVP is a representative of that region.

Land Use in Germany (in 2008)
chart: land use in Germany (2008)

During recent years, grassland reduced in acreage allowing crop land to increase slightly. In Germany, 8 major crops (see figure above) can be identified which even grew in importance over time. In 1996 they made up 74 percent while in 2010 they amounted to 82 percent. Based on 2010 data, winter wheat is the grain with highest acreage and production (3.26 million ha and 23.7 million t) followed by barley, mainly the winter variety, (1.65 million ha and 10.4 million t).

Since 2005 corn silage, a major feedstock for biogas production, increased its acreage by 50 percent which is largely due to Germany’s political support to bioenergy. Rapeseed, used for biodiesel production and food covers nearly 1.5 million ha (5.7 Mio. t).

A substantial amount of Germany’s land is covered with grassland and arable land. More than 12 million ha of fertile land are available for arable production.

Agricultural land use in Germany 2008
pie chart: land use in Germany 2008




Partner Germany

Tanja Möllmann

Thünen Institute
Braunschweig, Germany

+49 531 596 5119

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