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Austria: Lateest on organic farming in 2015 released

Preliminary numbers suggest that the number of farms in 2015 is approximately the same as in the previous year, according to the Austrian Ministry for Agriculture (BMLUF).


Despite the small growth, there has been a change in organic farms with 1,600 farms joining and 1,580 farms leaving organic production (and 620 farms quitting farming altogether). There has been an increase in organic farms in all federal states, with the exception of Salzburg and Tyrol. The states with the biggest increase in farms are Vienna (12 %) and Carinthia (9%). Lower Austria experienced the strongest growth with 172 new farms. Tyrol, on the other hand, lost 353 farms (14 %).


The agriculturally cultivated area (excluding alpine and mountain areas) increased by around 8,000 ha (2 %). Most of the area concerned was arable land (+5000 ha), but also grassland grew by about 2000 ha; however, intensively used grassland increased by over 10,000 ha (mainly due to mowing meadows several times a year instead of once) while extensively used grassland decreased by more than 8,000 ha (mainly due to 1,580 farms quitting organic farming).

Fruit crops showed an increase in growth of 25 %, organic vineyards 10 %. In Austria, almost a quarter of fruit crops and 13 % of vineyards are organically cultivated (see details in table).

Arable land

Soybeans showed enormous expansion of more than 50 %. Oil crops (among them the oil pumpkin) expanded their area by almost 40 % while the area of organic grains slightly decreased compared to 2014. Some smaller scale crop like lentils, chickpeas and radish also grew significantly (see details in table).

Outlook 2016

Considering the number of applications, organic farming seems to be increasing in 2016 by about 1,500 farms with 30,000 ha of agricultural land. The biggest increases are found in the states of Carinthia (9%), Lower Austria (8%) as well as Styria and Upper Austria (7 % each).

 Development of organic farms and area in 2015, in ha

20142015Change Share of total
Farms20,74320,768+25 %17.8 %
Agricultural area
(excluding alpine and mountainous regions)
430,121438,278+8,157 ha19.3 %
  • of which arable land
189,514194,657+5,143 ha14.5 %
  • of which grassland
233,561235,348+1,788 ha27.1 %
Fruit orchards2,3232,901+579 ha23.3%
Vineyards4,6575,125+468 ha12.8 %

Further information

Source and contact: Otto Hofer, BMLUF, Vienna, Austria


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