Crop farming survey

What kind of survey is it?

The crop farming survey provides data about areas under cultivation and harvested areas of agricultural crops, production and yield, fertilisers, organic farming, liming, seed use, and autumn sowings of winter crops. A large part of the data are obtained from various registers (for example, data on areas under cultivation are received from the Agricultural Registers and Information Board), and the rest are collected from respondents with the survey.

Why are these data needed?

Ministries, EU institutions, research organisations and agricultural enterprises rely on these data to make informed decisions in this domain. The data are used for shaping national agricultural and environmental policies and other areas of activity.

The data on areas under cultivation, yield and production are required for implementing the EU’s common agricultural policy. The data serve as input for agricultural production and material flow accounts, economic accounts for agriculture, and also GDP calculations. The data on fertilisers are used by the Ministry of Regional Affairs and Agriculture and the Ministry of Climate in the development of agricultural and environmental policies and measures, including those related to the Nitrates Directive, the Water Framework Directive, and HELCOM’s Baltic Sea Action Plan. The Estonian Environmental Research Centre uses the data for the national greenhouse gas inventory. The results of the survey are also used in the assessment of the indicators of the Estonian Agriculture and Fisheries Strategy.

What is asked in the “Crop farming and grasslands maintenance” questionnaire?

With the questionnaire, Statistics Estonia collects data that are not available in any registers or other existing sources, such as data on crop production, fertilised areas, liming, and autumn sowings of winter crops for next year’s harvest. Every other year – including 2023 – the questionnaire also collects data on the use of certified seed.

The questionnaire is prefilled with the Agricultural Registers and Information Board’s data on the areas under cultivation of different agricultural crops; the prefilled data can be changed, if necessary.

How are the survey participants selected?

The survey covers entities (both legal and natural persons) that have registered agricultural crops with the Agricultural Registers and Information Board (ARIB), or that meet at least one of the following physical thresholds for agricultural holdings as agreed in the European Union:

  • 5 hectares of utilised agricultural area* (incl. arable land, permanent grassland, fruit and berry plantations, nurseries and kitchen gardens);
  • 2 hectares of arable land;
  • 0.5 hectares of potatoes;
  • 0.5 hectares of vegetables and strawberries;
  • 0.2 hectares of aromatic and medicinal plants and herbs, flowers and ornamental plants, area under seeds, nurseries;
  • 0.3 hectares of fruit and berry plantations and other permanent crops;
  • 100 sq. metres of greenhouses; or
  • 1.7 livestock units of animals (one livestock unit corresponds to, for example, 1 dairy cow; other animals have lower coefficients, e.g. 0.8 for a bovine animal, 0.3 for a fattening pig, 0,007 for a broiler, etc.).

*Utilised agricultural area includes permanent grassland where only maintenance mowing is carried out but for which subsidies are received. The areas of flowers, ornamental plants and nurseries, for example, are also included among utilised agricultural area.

Statistics Estonia selects the sample on the basis of data from ARIB, the organic farming register, and other sources. Information on the agricultural holding/enterprise is requested from the holder, the manager, or the holder's or manager’s representative.

The units are grouped by their estimated crop production and a random sample is drawn from these groups. To ensure a representative sample, the largest and most important entities are universally included. The number of the smallest units included in the sample is not big, but their data are equally crucial to ensure results that accurately reflect crop farming in Estonia as a whole.

Is participation in the crop farming survey compulsory?

Pursuant to the Official Statistics Act, it is compulsory to respond to the crop farming survey. Each response is very important to ensure that the data correctly reflect crop farming in Estonia.

How often is the survey conducted?

The statistical questionnaire on crop farming is used to collect data once a year in the autumn.

How are the data collected?

Statistics Estonia asks those who have already harvested their crops to submit the crop farming questionnaire already in September, if possible. This information is used to prepare preliminary harvest estimates by the end of September. The final deadline for submitting the crop farming questionnaire is 1 November.

The survey can be completed online at, which allows respondents to fill in the questionnaire at their convenience. The web environment can be accessed with an ID card, Mobile ID, or Smart ID.

Who commissioned the survey?

The survey is conducted pursuant to the Official Statistics Act and Regulation No 543/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council. Crop farming surveys are carried out in all European Union countries.

When are the survey results published?

Data on areas under cultivation and harvested production are published three times a year: preliminary data on areas under cultivation (according to ARIB) are published in the summer, preliminary estimates of production are published in September, and the final data on areas under cultivation, production and yield are released in January. Other crop farming data are published once a year.

Where are the survey results published?

The results of the crop farming survey are published under the domain of Agriculture in the statistical database on Statistics Estonia’s website at

Data protection

Strict security requirements are observed to protect statistical data. The collected data are confidential. The data are processed and used only for statistical purposes and are published in aggregated form.

Where can I get more information?

If you have any questions, please contact Statistics Estonia's customer support by phone at +372 625 9300 or by email at klienditugi [at] (klienditugi[at]stat[dot]ee).