‘ArableApril’: Rise in farmers obeying 2 and 3-crop rule in 2018

A total of 3,081 farmers claimed over 30ha of tillage ground in 2018 according to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Overall, 20,356 farmers worked 342,875ha planted to tillage crops in 2018. The majority of these farmers had less than 10ha of tillage crops, meaning that they did not have to work under the two or three-crop rule.

13,540 farmers had less than 10ha of tillage in 2018.

3,735 farmers claimed between 10ha and 30ha, meaning that they were required to have at least two crops on their tillage land.

Change from 2017

In 2017, 6,000 farmers were required to grow two and three crops. This means that those farmers were working at least 10ha of tillage.

14,000 farmers had more than 2ha of tillage in 2017.

Rise attributed to maize?

There was an increase of about 1,000 farmers growing more than 10ha of tillage crops in 2018. This increase may be attributed to the rise in maize and beet acreage in 2018.

Maize area increased by 40% in 2018, while the area under beet increased by 9%.

What defines tillage land?

Tillage land is defined as land used to grow cereals, root crops and protein crops – among others. Arable land includes: tillage crops; temporary grassland; and fallow land.

Decrease in cereals area

The area under cereals in this country declined by almost 40,000ha from 2015 to 2018 – from 292,400ha in 2015 to 253,000ha in 2018. That’s a decrease in the area sown to cereals of 13.5%.

The dramatic decrease saw its highest rate of decline from 2017 to 2018. In this year it declined by 19,400ha.