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The farming sector is just one of the main land customers in Europe and thus shapes landscapes in landscape areas. It has actually various direct and indirect effects on the environment and is chin dependent on organic resources.


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Agricultural floor plays vital role in land usage patterns across the EU. Grassland and also cropland together consist of 39 % that Europe"s floor cover (, 2017a). The agricultural sector is a major user of herbal resources and also has a facility relationship through the atmosphere (OECD, 2017). The complying with data reflect the performance and impacts of the farming sector in the EU:

Agriculture is among the key sources that nitrates in surface and ground waters. In number of regions throughout Europe, regularly those with intensive agriculture, nitrate concentrations are still as well high.

Two that the main difficulties confronting agriculture in Europe space climate change (, 2017c) and also land take, i.e. The conversion of land to, for example, settlements and infrastructure (, 2017a). Climate adjust requires the adaptation of crop varieties and causes too much weather events (for more information top top climate adaptation, view the’s occupational in this field or the Climate-ADAPT Platform) and also thus that demands profound risk management. Land take it leads come a palliation in agricultural land in plenty of regions.

Key trends

Despite the advancement of the farming sector escape on many factors and local variations in the sector, some key trends at the europe level can be observed. The relationship of total land accounted for by agricultural land is shrinking and the sector is affected by land take, i.e. Transformation to artificial land. Independently of this, the number of farms is decreasing and also the average farm size increasing.

All three factors — land-take, intensification and extensification — lead to loss the High Nature value Farmland and a decrease in populaces of farmland birds.

In recent years, the farming sector has been increasingly impacted by excessive weather events. Hail, hefty rainfall, floods and droughts, brought around by climate change, have led to diminished yields (, 2017c).

Policy context

The advance of the agricultural sector is strongly influenced by the EU’s Common farming Policy (CAP) (see Köster, 2010). Ever because its creation in the mid-20th century, EU agricultural policy has had a solid economic dimension. Yet, end the last 50 years there has actually been a shift in the form of subsidies noted and a move from a mostly sector-oriented policy to a much more integrated rural development policy v structural and also agri-environmental measures. Currently the CAP features two main pillars:

Pillar 1, under which direct payments to farmers and also market interventions are covered, andPillar 2, under i beg your pardon rural development programmes are supported.

For the period 2010-2014, the typical share the EU subsidies in agricultural factor income<1> was an ext than 35 %, and also that of straight payments come farmers was 28 %. These numbers ranged from much more than 90 % (total subsidies) and also around 45 % (direct payments) in Slovakia to around 15 % and also 12 % in the Netherlands (EPRS, 2017). The european Commission’s legitimate proposal because that the CAP write-up 2020 was released in June 2018. The strives for better performance orientation as it regards the contribution to environmental and climate targets and also ambitions.

Agricultural production is also framed by various other EU and international policies, several of which, e.g. The Nitrates Directive and also the Water framework Directive, are already reflected in the architecture of the CAP. Moreover, energy and climate policies, because that example, have additionally driven the rise in energy chop production end the last decade (OECD/FAO, 2017).

Furthermore, the sector plays vital role in achieve the missions of the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy and the UN Sustainable breakthrough Goals (SDGs). Activities

The coordinates with various other EU organisations, for instance in the compilation of the common set of agri-environmental signs (AEIs). data are supplied within the monitoring and also evaluation that the CAP, e.g. As input because that the compilation of details so-called paper definition indicators. V its stake in the Copernicus Land monitoring Service, the explores avenues to progressively use Copernicus data because that agri-environmental assessments. It also tries to fulfill the demands of the farming sector for planet observation data and products, e.g. For the application of precision farming technologies.

Apart from collaborating carefully with the various other EU organisations, the works along with the nationwide Reference Centres in the field of Environment and also Agriculture. This centres kind an inherent component of the’s European environment Information and Observation Network (Eionet), in i beg your pardon the 38 countries are represented. Synergies v the work-related of other worldwide organisations, such together the organization for financial Co-operation and breakthrough (OECD) and also the Food and agriculture Organization the the United countries (FAO), take place. The likewise collaborates with the research study community and also expert panels, e.g. With task teams supported under the Horizon2020 programme.

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Recent publications

The recent Report "Food in a eco-friendly light" discusses food production and also consumption, acquisition a food mechanism perspective.