Germany: More than half is farmland | Environment| All topics from climate change to conservation | DW | 08.03.2010
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Environment

Germany: More than half is farmland

The European Commission has given the go-ahead for the cultivation of a genetically modified potato. Amflora will be planted on 20 hectars this year - a tiny fraction of Germany's farmland.

grain

Grain crops make up a large part of German farmland

Germany covers a total area of 357,021 square kilometres. 348,672 sq km of that is land.

Of that land, 30.1 percent was covered by forests, according to statistics for the year 2008.

A mere 13.2 percent was covered by roads and railways, cities and towns.

52.5 percent was used for agricultural purposes, that is crops, pastures, meadows and vineyards. More than half of the area used for agricultural purposes yielded fodder crops.

"The area used for agricultural purposes in Germany has remained nearly constant since 1991," Philipp Erbach, a spokesman for Germany's Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV), told Deutsche Welle.

Infografik Anteil der Kulturarten an der Ackerfläche 2009 Englisch

In 2009, the vast majority of agricultural areas in Germany were used for planting grain -mainly wheat and rye - followed by fodder crops and trade crops such as flax, hops and tobacco.

2009 Statistics for the exact percentage of grain crops sold for industrial purposes, or for feeding livestock, were not yet available.

Organic farming, meanwhile, has become ever more popular: the number of organic farms has nearly doubled over the past ten years, Erbach said. Of the roughly 17,000 farms in Germany in 1999, 2.9 percent were organic. By 2007, their number had risen to 5.1 percent.

Author: Dagmar Breitenbach
Editor: Rob Turner

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