December 29, 2021 at 7:59 p.m. by Emilien Borderie / photo credit: Xavier Remongin and Pascal Xicluna
The trend has been observed since the early 1970s, in Loir-et-Cher as well as nationally: farms are fewer and fewer but increasingly larger. And the employment generated by the sector is decreasing. The last census carried out in our countryside also shows a strong increase on the part of professionals who have chosen organic.
At the end of 2020, at the end of the last census, Loir-et-Cher had 2,800 farms in its territory, i.e. 634 (18%) less than in 2010 during the previous count. If the decline does continue, it is “at an average annual rate less sustained than the previous decade, -2% per year between 2010 and 2020 against -2.6% between 2000 and 2010” however, underline the ministerial services. Less numerous, but larger, farms now have an average of 102 hectares each, i.e. 18 more than in 2010 and almost 36 more than in 2000. However, the “used agricultural area” has globally declined by nearly 4,000 hectares in ten years to total today 284,324 in the department.
Organic and “circuits courts” progress
The drop in the number of farms is particularly marked in arable crops (-263), the “polyculture” where the “poly-breeding” (-157) and viticulture (-93). A third of the sheep and beef cattle farms disappeared between the last two censuses. Conversely, horticultural, market gardening and fruit farms have seen their number increase slightly. : twelve more in ten years. Organic farming is growing quite clearly: labeled or in conversion, we have gone from 3.3% of the total number of farms in 2010 to 8.4 now. Rather noticeable too, the growing interest in the process of selling by “circuit court” : 19.6% of farms were positioned on the local market ten years ago, when their share is now 24.4.
We mostly work as a family
According to the latest statistics available, it appears that the large farms of Loir-et-Cher, although being less numerous than those of the so-called category “medium”, alone represent the majority (53%) of the local agricultural workforce. Overall, in 2020, departmental agriculture ensured a “permanent job” to 5,434 people. After converting to “full-time equivalent”, we only have 5,239 jobs, or 466 fewer than in 2010. The environment remains relatively closed since “the work of active managers and family labor represents 60% of the whole” we specify, while noting a drop of three points over ten years. As for the use of seasonal or occasional labor, it increased from 13 to 16% over the same period.
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In Loir-et-Cher, 634 fewer farms in ten years