The map shows in detail cultivation areas, cultivation focuses and production quantities of the European countries. It becomes clear that within the EU Spain, Italy, Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Poland are the largest producers; in Eastern Europe the Ukraine and – thanks to the extensive agricultural areas – Russia. Turkey is also an important agricultural producer. It should be noted that selected products are shown in each case; for example fruit and vegetables are missing.
In 2011 around 37 percent of the land area (EU-27) was used for agriculture. The Ukraine and Great Britain had the highest proportion of agricultural land in relation to the land area with 71 percent each, followed by Ireland with 66 percent and Denmark and Greece with 61 percent. In Turkey half of the country’s area is used for agriculture, in the Russian Federation it was 13 percent. In absolute terms, however, the Russian Federation has the largest agricultural area with 2.13 million square kilometers. The front runners among the EU countries were France (290,000 km 2), Spain (274,000 km 2), Great Britain (172,000 km 2) and followed by Germany (167,000 km 2).
The European pioneer in the field of organic farming is Austria, where, according to the Federal Statistical Office, organic farming was carried out on 19.7 percent of the agricultural area in 2011. With a value of 6.1 percent, Germany was in the middle of Europe.
The most important animal product in Europe is milk. Around 140 million tonnes are produced in the EU every year; Around one third each is processed into cheese or butter. A good ten percent each is consumed as drinking milk or processed into cream. The front runner among European milk producers in 2013 was Germany with 30 million tonnes, followed by France (24 million tonnes), Great Britain (14 million tonnes) and the Netherlands (12 million tonnes).
In Europe, pork has traditionally been economically more important than beef. In 2013, the production of pork with 22.9 million tons of slaughter weight exceeded the production of beef and veal (7.2 million tons) by around three times. By far the most important producer of pork in Europe is Germany, which made up a quarter of the continental production with 5.5 million tons in 2013, followed by Spain (3.4 million tons), the Russian Federation (2.6 million tons) and France (1.9 million t). For beef, the Russian Federation leads the European ranking with 1.6 million tonnes, followed by France (1.4 million tonnes), Germany (1.1 million tonnes) and Italy (0.9 million tonnes).
The production of eggs – like the consumption of poultry meat – has risen continuously over the past 25 years. In 2013 consumption in Germany reached a new record high with an average of 218 eggs per capita per year. In the EU, egg production rose from just under 6.2 million tons to a good 7.1 million tons between 2005 and 2013.
The European leader in grain production is the Russian Federation with a harvest of 90 million tonnes, followed by France (67 million tonnes), Ukraine (67 million tonnes), Germany (48 million tonnes) and Turkey (37 million tonnes). t; data for 2013). The most important types of grain for European farmers are wheat, barley and maize.
SOIL TYPES IN EUROPE
The most important soil formation process in south Europe is browning, in which the primary rock is weathered and clay minerals and iron oxide hydrates are newly formed; this results in the brown color of the floors. It caused brown soils. Browning is often accompanied by acidification. Browning typically sets in under deciduous and mixed forests and in humid conditions in the cool, temperate climate zone. Closely related to brown earths are parabrown earths, which are formed from brown earths (clay shift from upper to lower horizons). Due to the small-scale landscape of Central Europe, the predominant zonal brown earth and parabroun earth societies occur in varied alternation with other soil types.
Where limestone comes to the surface, such as in the southern German plain, in the limestone Alps and in the Dinaric mountains, rendzines are formed, a form of stony raw soil. They are characterized by their shallowness and a thin, dark, humus and nutrient-rich A horizon over a light C horizon. Their formation depends more on the rock base than on the climatic conditions.
Podsols – also known as bleaching earths – are formed when ferrous substances are shifted to deeper horizons on permeable substrates such as sandy loam and these solidify there. Their humus horizon is only weakly developed, it is nutrient-poor, low-quality soils.
Black earths (Tschernoseme) mostly arise on loess. A striking feature is the mighty, black, humus-rich A-horizon, which makes them excellent arable soils. Black soils are formed in the winter cold, continental steppes, in which large amounts of organic matter accumulate, which accumulate as humus. In South European countries, as defined on COUNTRYAAH.COM, black earths are relict soils from the post-ice age, north of the Black Sea they are zonal guide soils. Black soils merge there to the southeast in Kastanoseme with a significantly thinner humus horizon.