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Agriculture (production)

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Normandy: the French region with the highest UAA, with 76% of its surface area under agricultural exploitation
Permanent grassland (PG) occupies 48% of the Useful Agricultural Area (UAA)
Average surface area for a professional farm: 81ha
24,000 farm businesses

Due to the absence of mountain ranges, low forestation and moderate urbanisation, Normandy is the French region with the highest Useful Agricultural Area (UAA), with 77% of its total surface area under agricultural exploitation. In 2009, Normandy's useful agricultural area represented a total of 1,362,150ha. In Normandy, permanent grassland (PG) occupied 50% of the region's UAA in 2009. Among Normandy's farming businesses, PG represented 70% of total crop surface in 2008 (i.e. 686,600ha). The average farm business comprises a total surface area of 50 hectares. The region is home to two types of farming business: those referred to as "professional" and those referred to as "complementary". Professional farms in Normandy (13,846 in 2007) exploit 92% of the Useful Agricultural Area, with an average professional surface area of 81ha. Farms referred to as "complementary" (10,874 in 2007) represent 44% of total farm businesses in Normandy, however they exploit only 5% of the region's UAA. Their average total surface area is 9ha. Their activity is relatively heterogeneous, except in Manche, where dairy farming predominates.
Although Normandy is a breeding region, arable crops are also very much part of its agriculture. Half of Normandy's UAA is devoted to crops, i.e. around 662,000 hectares, 282,000 of which were used for cereal growing in 2009.
The vast majority of this production is concentrated within the Caen-Falaise-Argentan plain. Crops include soft wheat, colza, textile linen, field peas, sugar beet, potatoes... Most of Normandy's crops are exported via the ports of Caen and Rouen.
The region is highly specialised in wheat growing. Normandy's cereal production in 2009: 2.1 million tonnes (including 1.5 tonnes of soft wheat).
A yield above the national average. The local pedoclimatic conditions guarantee an excellent yield, which is generally above the national average.
Normandy's sugar production: 8,814 ha, its land offering high agronomic potential with over 94 tonnes/ha.
forage fields: essentially grassland (50% of the region's UAA)... but also corn silage and temporary prairies (annual silage occupies 20% of the region's UAA, whereas artificial and temporary prairies occupy 10%).
Normandy is the French region with the highest proportion of agricultural employees (salaried and non-salaried) among overall regional employment. Agriculture represents 6.9% of total regional employment (compared to a national figure of 3.3%).
31% of farm business leaders are women (national figure: 26%). Over half of farm business leaders are aged over 50 years.
Price of agricultural land, value of a hectare of undeveloped land free for sale (three-year average 2007/2008/2009)
- In France: €5,090 / in Calvados: €6,410 / in Manche: €5,090 / in Orne: €4,230.

PG (permanent grassland): part of the UAA permanently used as pastureland.
UAA: the Useful Agricultural Area is the surface area of land devoted to agricultural activity.

  • Zone agricole
  • Types exploitations agricoles en BN
  • Plaine
  • Champ de foin
  • Vaches normandes à l'herbage