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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Land cover, use of arable land - outlook from EEA / Land cover, use of arable land - outlook from EEA (Outlook 009) - Assessment published Jun 2007

Land cover, use of arable land - outlook from EEA (Outlook 009) - Assessment published Jun 2007

Indicator Assessmentexpired Created 08 Jan 2007 Published 08 Jun 2007 Last modified 12 Nov 2013, 08:46 AM
This content has been archived on 12 Nov 2013, reason: Content not regularly updated
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Generic metadata


Environmental scenarios Environmental scenarios (Primary topic)

land use | forward looking indicators
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
Indicator codes
  • Outlook 009
Geographic coverage:
Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom

Key policy question: How much and in what proportions is forest and other semi-natural and natural land being taken for agricultural purposes?

Key messages

Harvested land is expected to continue to be used mainly for fodder and the production of cereals (80% of the total area).

Projections of arable land use

Note: N/A

Data source:

European environment outlook, EEA Report No 4/2005

Downloads and more info

Key assessment

Baseline scenario
The projections reported cover 23 EU Member States (Cyprus and Malta are not included due to limited data).

The following developments are expected for arable land use:

  • After an increase (5%) in the EU-15 in the second half of the 1990s, the total area of cereals in the (enlarged) EU is expected to stay fairly stable over the period to reach 52 million ha by 2020, about 31% of total arable land. The slight decrease in cereal area over the 2020 horizon mainly reflects the introduction of decoupling of payments associated with the mid-term review of the common agriculture policy (CAP) and the overall reduction in the level of support.
  • Wheat production (soft and durum wheat), which is the main cereal in the EU, is expected to retain its predominance with about 23 million ha in 2020. Barley would see its area decrease slightly over the period.
  • Fodder areas, which represent the largest share of agricultural land by 2020 (42%) are expected to experience a significant decrease over the period (about 9%); this is due mainly to a reduction in fodder demand for ruminants, as both supply of beef meat and cow herds are expected to drop in the long term.
  • Set-aside and fallow land is expected to represent 13 million ha by 2020 (8% of total agricultural land); increasing about 13% over 2001 level; this is driven by the doubling expected in the New-8, where fallow land increases considerably (and cancels out the developments in the EU-15) and obligatory ste-aside progresses as the Grandes Cultures areas shift in the long term from small farms, which are exempt from set-aside, to larger ones.
  • The areas of permanent crops and paddy are expected to remain fairly stable, at about 8% of agricultural land by 2020.
  • In contrast, the areas of oilseeds and pulses are expected to increase by about 12% by 2020 to represent 6% of arable land

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Anita Pirc Velkavrh


EEA Management Plan

2010 (note: EEA internal system)



European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100