In Germany, a country starting with letter G according to COUNTRYAAH.COM, around half of the land is used for agriculture. With 639,000 people (2019), 1.4% of all employed persons were employed in the agricultural sector (excluding seasonal workers). The share of agriculture (including fisheries and forestry) in the gross domestic product is less than 1%. The number of farms fell by half from 1991 to 2019 to 266,500; the average cultivated area amounts to 62 ha. More than half of the farms are run as a sideline. While family farms predominate in the former federal territory, individual farms in the GDR were largely dismantled with the forced collectivization of 1952-60. The ones introduced after that Agricultural production cooperatives (LPG) and nationally owned estates usually farmed several thousand hectares and specialized in either plant or animal production. The restructuring of agriculture in the new federal states after reunification did not result in a return to family businesses, which was hampered by unclear ownership, an outdated machine and equipment park, lost sales markets and low equity. With an average of 220 hectares, the farms in East Germany are now almost ten times the size of those in West Germany.
The agriculturally used area is 16.7 million hectares; 70% of this is used as arable land and 30% as grassland or for permanent crops (including viticulture, orchards). The arable land is mainly used for the cultivation of grain, fodder crops (maize, beetroot), oil crops (rapeseed) and root crops (potatoes, sugar beets). When it comes to grain cultivation, the high-yielding types of wheat and winter barley have pushed back the cultivation of rye and oats. In terms of the grain harvest, Germany ranks third in the EU after France and Poland. In the area of special crops, hops are important with around a third of world production. When growing vegetables, carrots and carrots, asparagus, tomatoes and cucumbers dominate, while fruits are dominated by apples, strawberries and cherries.
One focus of German agriculture is the production of high-quality animal processing products, especially pork and beef. Germany has the second largest pig population in the EU (2019: 25.5 million) and the second largest cattle population (2019: 11.4 million, including around 4 million dairy cows). The consumption of commercial fertilizers and pesticides, the use of which means pollution of soil, water and food, has decreased slightly in the western German states since the mid-1980s. The reasons for this are extensification measures, improved application techniques and higher specific effectiveness, but also the increased awareness of consumers for organically produced products. The increase in importance of an ecologically oriented agriculture compared to industrial production was favored by several food scandals as well as by agricultural policy measures. The proportion of establishments with Organic farming was 19,900 farms in 2019, almost 70% of them with animal husbandry; Around 1.14 million hectares were farmed organically. Statistically, four fifths of the national food requirement can be met from domestic production. Due to the differentiation of consumer habits, especially the desire for year-round availability of fresh products, the import of fruit and vegetables from worldwide production has gained in importance. Mainly pork is exported.
Forestry: About 30% of the area consists of forests and trees, half of which is privately owned. The greatest distribution (on almost a quarter of the area) is spruce, which is by far the most important timber, as well as pine, beech and oak. The logging has increased significantly in recent years due to forest damage. The summer droughts from 2018 to 2020 mainly destroyed spruce stands.
Fisheries: As a result of reunification, the waters accessible to West German deep-sea and coastal fishing were expanded to include larger areas of the Baltic Sea. At the same time, however, the former fishing rights of the East German fishing fleet in the South and Central Atlantic could no longer be used. The most important German fishing area continues to be the North Sea (especially herring, mussels and mackerel). The landings of the ocean-going fleets are mainly made abroad (including the Netherlands, Denmark, Iceland), but also in Cuxhaven and Bremerhaven. Rostock has largely lost its importance as a fishing port. In the German Wadden Sea, crabs (North Sea shrimp) caught. In addition, fish, especially carp and trout, as well as mussels are bred in aquacultures (around 2,500 farms).
Foreign trade: Germany is the third strongest world trading country after China and the USA. Since 1990, both exports and imports have nearly tripled. The foreign trade balance remained positive over the entire period. In terms of export goods, capital goods predominate (motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts, machines, chemical products, electrotechnical products). Mainly motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts, electrotechnical products, machines, chemical products as well as crude oil and natural gas are imported. Trade with other states of the European Union, especially France and the Netherlands, dominates. In addition, the USA and China are among the largest trading partners. Due to international direct investments, it is becoming increasingly important trade between the operating units of multinational corporations.