Poland is the ninth largest country in Europe. It borders with seven other states and the Baltic Sea. Most of the country is lowland.
In 1996, 59% or approx. 18.5 million ha of Poland's total area of 31.1 million hectares was arable land. Of this area, arable land is by far the largest part with 14.1 million ha, followed by meadows of 2.8 million ha, permanent pasture of 1.4 million ha. 76% of Poland's utilized agricultural area is arable land, where the corresponding figure for the old EU countries is only 56%.
The primary crop is grain, especially wheat and rye and to a lesser extent, potatoes, fodder crops, sugar beets, oilseeds and legume plants. For most crops, production has in recent years been lower than before the change of the political system. In general, the percentage of self-sufficiency for most crops is between 90 and 100%.
Poland is a major producer of agricultural, horticultural and animal products. Poland is the second largest in all of Europe as to production of fruit - mainly raspberries and redcurrants and apples. Poland is the world's 2nd largest producer of rye and the world's 6th largest producer of potatoes. Finally, Poland has a strong position in the pig and dairy production, as the 7th and 11th largest producer in the world, respectively.
The average farm size in Poland is 8 hectares (compared to an EU average of 18.7 ha). There is a tendency towards more small and large farms at the expense of medium-sized farms. On national basis, the farm size varies from an average of just about 3 hectares in the southern part of Poland, to more than 20 hectares in the north-western part of Poland. 95.5% of Polish farmland is being cultivated in the private sector, of which 87.7% are family owned farms.
A great number of farms are still cultivated using a low consumption of fertilizers and pesticides. The more commercially oriented farms which use modern methods are able to compete with farms in other EU countries both in terms of quality and productivity. The number of these farms has been steadily increasing. The proportion of commercially oriented farms now accounts for 64.4% of the total agricultural production.
Polish agriculture differs somewhat from agriculture in other former communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe, since agriculture was never fully collectivized in Poland. Successive communist governments finally accepted the privately-owned farms as the key pillar of food production in Poland. The privately-owned farms have therefore been important throughout the whole post-war period. The state owned farms had about ¼ of the area, and the privately-owned farms had approx. ¾. The state owned farms were mainly situated in the areas of Poland which were taken over from Germany after the 2nd World War, and the average size was around 3,300 ha. The privately-owned farms were very small, usually less than 5 hectares. After the political change in 1989 a main part of the state-owned farms were privatized, parceled and sold, or leased to private farmers, and the agriculture went through a radical restructuring. Sources: The Danish Embassy and the EU Directorate.
Poland has a temperate climate, but weather conditions are very different depending on the different parts of Poland. If you e.g. take Masuria in the northeastern part of Poland, the climate is more similar to coastal climate because winds blow from the Baltic Sea through the area. This means that the summers are not too hot, and the winters are not too cold, and it is therefore a good climate for plant production.
On Allmetsat.com you will get more details on rainfall, temperatures, sunshine hours, etc. in each part of Poland. soil classification:
Here you find an approximate comparison of the Polish soil classification with other European standards.
Please find current agricultural farms for sale in Poland and Latvia.