Title of statistical activity: Crop farming

Code of statistical activity: 21214

  1. Contact
  2. Metadata update
  3. Statistical presentation
  4. Unit of measure
  5. Reference period
  6. Institutional mandate
  7. Confidentiality
  8. Release policy
  9. Frequency of dissemination
  10. Accessibility and clarity
  11. Quality management
  12. Relevance
  13. Accuracy and reliability
  14. Timeliness and punctuality
  15. Coherence and comparability
  16. Cost and burden
  17. Data revision
  18. Statistical processing

1. Contact Individual or organisational contact points for the data or metadata, including information on how to reach the contact points.

1.1. Contact organisation The name of the organisation of the contact points for the data or metadata.

Statistics Estonia

1.2. Contact organisation unit An addressable subdivision of an organisation.

Enterprise and Agricultural Statistics Department

1.3. Contact name The name of the contact points for the data or metadata.

Ege Kirs

1.4. Contact person function The area of technical responsibility of the contact, such as "methodology", "database management" or "dissemination".


1.5. Contact mail address The postal address of the contact points for the data or metadata.

51 Tatari Str, 10134 Tallinn, Estonia

1.6. Contact email address E-mail address of the contact points for the data or metadata.


1.7. Contact phone number The telephone number of the contact points for the data or metadata.

+372 625 9236

2. Metadata update The date on which the metadata element was inserted or modified in the database.

2.1. Metadata last certified Date of the latest certification provided by the domain manager to confirm that the metadata posted are still up-to-date, even if the content has not been amended.


2.2. Metadata last update Date of last update of the content of the metadata.


3. Statistical presentation

3.1. Data description Main characteristics of the data set described in an easily understandable manner, referring to the data and indicators disseminated.

Preliminary estimations of sown areas, harvest and yield of crops

Utilised agricultural land, sown and harvested area of crops, production and yield of crops

Crop production per person

Utilised organic agricultural land, sown area of organic crops, fruit and berry plantations, production of crops in organic farming

Sown seed, incl. certified seed

Area fertilised with organic fertiliser, area fertilised with mineral fertiliser, area fertilised with lime fertiliser and quantity of used lime fertiliser, quantity of nutrients in manure

3.2. Classification system Arrangement or division of objects into groups based on characteristics which the objects have in common.

Classification of Estonian administrative units and settlements (EHAK)

Classification of Use of Agricultural Land

3.3. Sector coverage Main economic or other sectors covered by the statistics.

Agricultural holdings, agricultural small units

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions Statistical characteristics of statistical observations.

Agricultural holding – until 2019, agricultural holding was a single unit both technically and economically, which had single management and which produced agricultural products or maintained its land in good agricultural and environmental condition and where:

- there was at least one hectare of utilised agricultural land or;

- there was less than one hectare of utilised agricultural land and agricultural products are produced mainly for sale.

From 2020, agricultural holding is a single unit both technically and economically, where there is at least:

- 5 hectares of utilized agricultural area or;

- 2 hectares of arable land or;

- 0.5 hectares of potatoes or;

- 0.5 hectares of vegetables and strawberries or;

- 0.2 hectares of aromatic and medicinal plants and herbs, flowers, seeds, nurseries or;

- 0.3 hectares of fruit and berry plantations, other permanent crops (except nurseries) or;

- 100 m2 of greenhouses or;

- 1.7 livestock units.

Units where agricultural products are not produced but land is maintained in good agricultural and environmental condition are included as agricultural units from 2007.

Agricultural small unit – unit which is smaller than agricultural holding and where there are at least:

- 50 square metres of kitchen garden or three fruit trees or six berry bushes or;

- 10 rabbits, 10 poultry or other agricultural animals or;

- three swarms of bees.

Arable land – land worked regularly, generally under a system of crop rotation. Arable land consists of:

- area under cereals (wheat, rye, triticale, barley, oats, mixed grain, buckwheat) for the production of dry grain;

- area under dry pulses (peas, field beans and lupins, other dry pulses, including mixture of cereals and dry pulses) for the production of dry grain;

- area under potatoes;

- area under fodder roots (excluding seeds);

- area under industrial crops (rape and turnip rape, linseed, flax and aromatic and medicinal plants and herbs, other industrial crops);

- area under fresh vegetables, outdoor or under low (non-accessible) cover;

- area under flowers and ornamental plants, outdoor or under low (non-accessible) cover;

- area under fresh vegetables under glass or high (accessible) cover (crops which for the whole of the period of growth or for the predominant part of it are covered by greenhouses or fixed or mobile high cover (glass or rigid or flexible plastic));

- area under flowers and ornamental plants under glass or high (accessible) cover (crops which for the whole of the period of growth or for the predominant part of it are covered by greenhouses or fixed or mobile high cover (glass or rigid or flexible plastic));

- area under fodder plants (all green arable crops intended for animal feed, grown in rotation with other arable crops and occupying the same land for less than five years) – temporary grass, maize and other forage plants (including cereals and legumes harvested green);

- area under annual forage crops (cereals, maize, dry pulses, rape and turnip rape, other annual forage crops);

- area under multiannual forage crops (leguminous plants and grasses for hay, silage or grazing, grown in temporary grassland in rotation with other arable crops and occupying the same land for a maximum of five years);

- area under forage crops seeds;

- fallow land — land left to recover, normally for the whole of a crop year (bare land and green fallow).

Certified organic products – agricultural products received from a fully converted organic agricultural area or certified organic livestock that can be labelled as fully organic.

Certified seed – seed, the descent of which, the identity, purity and quality of the species and variety of which and the compliance of which with the plant health requirements has been assessed in accordance with internationally established requirements and the packaging of which has been sealed and marked under the supervision of the Agricultural Board.

Certified organic products – agricultural products received from a fully converted organic agricultural area or certified organic livestock that can be labelled as fully organic.

Conversion period – transition from non-organic to organic farming, within a given time period, during which the provisions concerning organic production are applied. During that period, the production cannot be labelled as organic yet.

Fruit and berry plantation – area for growing fruits and berries (incl. strawberries, forest berries, and fruits and berries grown in kitchen garden for own consumption).

Fully converted – agricultural area and/or livestock which has passed the fixed conversion period from non-organic to organic farming, during which the provisions concerning organic production were and will be continuously applied. After the conversion period, the production can be labelled as organic.

Harvested area – the part of the sowing area that was harvested in the reference year.

Kitchen garden – land separated off from the rest of the holding, devoted to the cultivation of products for the consumption by persons living on the holding (only occasional surplus of products are sold). Decorative gardens (parks and lawns) are not included.

Liming – method of land improvement where lime fertilisers are added to acidic soil to reduce the acidity and improve the nutritional conditions of soil. Suitable local substances for liming: cement clincer dust, limestone meal, dolomite meal.

Livestock unit (LSU) – a standard measurement unit that allows the aggregation of various kinds of livestock and poultry. Livestock units are defined on the basis of the feed requirements of individual animal categories. A dairy cow corresponds to one livestock unit, the coefficients of other animals are smaller (e.g. bovine animal – 0.8; fattening pig – 0.3; broiler – 0.007). The coefficients of livestock units are stated with EU Parliament and Council regulation No 2018/1091.

Nursery – area of young ligneous (woody) plants, fruit trees, berry bushes or ornamental young plants grown in the open air (incl. greenhouses) for subsequent transplantation; commercial forest-tree nurseries, whether in woodland or outside, are included. Excluded are non-commercial nurseries of forest trees in woodland.

Organic farming – sustainable production of agricultural produce, which maintains basic equilibrium, is environmentally sustainable and which is carried out in compliance with the Organic Farming Act and other relevant legislation. Holdings with organic farm production have the approval of the Estonian Agricultural Board (either fully compliant with the principles of organic production or still in a conversion period).

Organic fertiliser – organic matter added in the soil as fertiliser.

Permanent grassland – land used to grow grass and other herbaceous crops, through cultivation (sown) or naturally (self-seeded), which is not included in the crop rotation for more than 5 years. Other species suitable for grazing may be included, provided that grasses or other herbaceous forage remain predominant.

Production – harvested production, incl. for own requirement (yield of covered areas is sum of yields from all sowings).

Sown area/area under cultivation – area under field crops.

Sown seed – quantity of seed used in the reference year.

Yield – harvested production per hectare of sown area in the reference year.

3.5. Statistical unit Entity for which information is sought and for which statistics are ultimately compiled.

Agricultural holding, agricultural small unit

3.6. Statistical population The total membership or population or "universe" of a defined class of people, objects or events.

Agricultural holdings with utilised agricultural area


List of agricultural holdings with utilised agricultural area. The list is generated from the statistical register of agricultural holdings.

3.7. Reference area The country or geographic area to which the measured statistical phenomenon relates.

Estonia as a whole


3.8. Time coverage The length of time for which data are available.


3.9. Base period The period of time used as the base of an index number, or to which a constant series refers.

Not applicable

4. Unit of measure The unit in which the data values are measured.

Sown area, harvested area, total area (nurseries), production area (permanent crops), fertilised area – ha

Total production, seed for sowing, certified seed, fertiliser quantity, nutrient quantity – tonne

Crop production per person – kilogram

Yield – kilograms per hectare

5. Reference period The period of time or point in time to which the measured observation is intended to refer.


6. Institutional mandate

6.1. Legal acts and other agreements Legal acts or other formal or informal agreements that assign responsibility as well as the authority to an agency for the collection, processing, and dissemination of statistics.


Regulation (EC) No 543/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 concerning crop statistics and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No 837/90 and (EEC) No 959/93

Commission Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 of 5 September 2008 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products with regard to organic production, labelling and control


Not available


Not available

7. Confidentiality A property of data indicating the extent to which their unauthorised disclosure could be prejudicial or harmful to the interest of the source or other relevant parties.

7.1. Confidentiality - policy Legislative measures or other formal procedures which prevent unauthorised disclosure of data that identify a person or economic entity either directly or indirectly.

The dissemination of data collected for the purpose of producing official statistics is guided by the requirements provided for in § 32, § 34, § 35, § 38 of the Official Statistics Act.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment Rules applied for treating the data set to ensure statistical confidentiality and prevent unauthorised disclosure.

The treatment of confidential data is regulated by the Procedure for Protection of Data Collected and Processed by Statistics Estonia: https://www.stat.ee/66485.

8. Release policy Rules for disseminating statistical data to interested parties.

8.1. Release calendar The schedule of statistical release dates.

Notifications about the dissemination of statistics are published in the release calendar, which is available on the website. Every year on 1 October, the release times of the statistical database, news releases, main indicators by IMF SDDS and publications for the following year are announced in the release calendar (in the case of publications – the release month).

8.2. Release calendar access Access to the release calendar information.


8.3. User access The policy for release of the data to users, the scope of dissemination (e.g. to the public, to selected users), how users are informed that the data are being released, and whether the policy determines the dissemination of statistical data to all users.

All users have been granted equal access to official statistics: dissemination dates of official statistics are announced in advance and no user category (incl. Eurostat, state authorities and mass media) is provided access to official statistics before other users. Official statistics are first published in the statistical database. If there is also a news release, it is published simultaneously with data in the statistical database. Official statistics are available on the website at 8:00 a.m. on the date announced in the release calendar.

9. Frequency of dissemination The time interval at which the statistics are disseminated over a given time period.


10. Accessibility and clarity

10.1. News release Regular or ad-hoc press releases linked to the data.

The news release “Crop production” once a year. The news release can be viewed on the website https://www.stat.ee/news-releases.

10.2. Publications Regular or ad-hoc publications in which the data are made available to the public.

Not published

10.3. Online database Information about on-line databases in which the disseminated data can be accessed.

Data are published under the subject area “Economy / Agriculture” in the statistical database at http://pub.stat.ee.

10.4. Microdata access Information on whether micro-data are also disseminated.

The dissemination of data collected for the purpose of producing official statistics is guided by the requirements provided for in § 33, § 34, § 35, § 36, § 38 of the Official Statistics Act. Access to microdata and anonymisation of microdata are regulated by Statistics Estonia’s procedure for dissemination of confidential data for scientific purposes: https://www.stat.ee/dokumendid/51669.

10.5. Other References to the most important other data dissemination done.

Data serve as input for statistical activities 10601 “Material flow accounts”, 21207 “Economic accounts for agriculture”, 21209 “Statistical register of agricultural holdings”, 21213 “Supply balance sheets of agricultural products” and 50101 “Regional development”.

10.6. Documentation on methodology Descriptive text and references to methodological documents available.

Regulation (EC) No 543/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 concerning crop statistics and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No 837/90 and (EEC) No 959/93


Handbook for annual crop statistics

10.7. Quality documentation Documentation on procedures applied for quality management and quality assessment.

Pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 543/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council, a report is compiled every three years describing the methodology applied and level of precision achieved.

11. Quality management Systems and frameworks in place within an organisation to manage the quality of statistical products and processes.

11.1. Quality assurance All systematic activities implemented that can be demonstrated to provide confidence that the processes will fulfil the requirements for the statistical output.

To assure the quality of processes and products, Statistics Estonia applies the EFQM Excellence Model, the European Statistics Code of Practice and the Quality Assurance Framework of the European Statistical System (ESS QAF). Statistics Estonia is also guided by the requirements in § 7. “Principles and quality criteria of producing official statistics” of the Official Statistics Act.

11.2. Quality assessment Overall assessment of data quality, based on standard quality criteria.

Statistics Estonia performs all statistical activities according to an international model (Generic Statistical Business Process Model – GSBPM). According to the GSBPM, the final phase of statistical activities is overall evaluation using information gathered in each phase or sub-process; this information can take many forms, including feedback from users, process metadata, system metrics and suggestions from employees. This information is used to prepare the evaluation report which outlines all the quality problems related to the specific statistical activity and serves as input for improvement actions.

12. Relevance The degree to which statistical information meet current and potential needs of the users.

12.1. User needs Description of users and their respective needs with respect to the statistical data.

Ministry of Rural Affairs

Users’ suggestions and information about taking these into account are available on the website of Statistics Estonia at https://www.stat.ee/statistikatood.

12.2. User satisfaction Measures to determine user satisfaction.

Since 1996, Statistics Estonia has conducted reputation and user satisfaction surveys.

All results are available on the website at https://www.stat.ee/user-surveys.

12.3. Completeness The extent to which all statistics that are needed are available.

Methodology and organisation are in compliance with the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 543/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

13. Accuracy and reliability Accuracy: closeness of computations or estimates to the exact or true values that the statistics were intended to measure.
Reliability: closeness of the initial estimated value to the subsequent estimated value.

13.1. Overall accuracy Assessment of accuracy, linked to a certain data set or domain, which is summarising the various components.

The type of survey and the data collection methods ensure sufficient coverage and timeliness.

13.2. Sampling error That part of the difference between a population value and an estimate thereof, derived from a random sample, which is due to the fact that only a subset of the population is enumerated.

Not applicable

13.3. Non-sampling error Error in survey estimates which cannot be attributed to sampling fluctuations.

An effort is made to reduce non-sampling errors through continous methodological improvements and survey process improvements, incl. through minimizing under- and overcoverage of the frame.

14. Timeliness and punctuality

14.1. Punctuality Time lag between the actual delivery of the data and the target date when it should have been delivered.

The data have been published at the time announced in the release calendar.

15. Coherence and comparability

15.1. Comparability - geographical The extent to which statistics are comparable between geographical areas.

The data on area under cultivation, production area, production and yield are comparable to data from other European Union countries because a common methodology is used. Data on Estonia are comparable across counties.

15.2. Comparability - over time The extent to which statistics are comparable or reconcilable over time.

The data are comparable over time. Since 2015, the quantities of active substances in mineral fertilisers have been calculated using indices calculated on the basis of Farm Accounting Data Network (FADN) data on the consumption of fertilisers. Since 2018, the accounting period for seed used for sowing and for certified seed is the harvest year. The changes have not caused any interruptions in the time series.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain The extent to which statistics are reconcilable with those obtained through other data sources or statistical domains.

The data are closely linked to other agricultural statistics. Cross-sectoral coherence is ensured by using the same indicators from different sources. Crop production data is an input to Economic Accounts for Agriculture. In the years when Farm Structure Surveys and agricultural censuses are conducted, these data are an input to Crop Production Statistics. In other years, the data of Agricultural Registers and Information Board (ARIB) is used as input for areas under cultivation. The input of organic farming statistics is the data of the organic farming register of the Agricultural Board.

15.4. Coherence - internal The extent to which statistics are consistent within a given data set.

The internal consistency of the data is ensured by the use of a common methodology for data collection and data aggregation. Only the data on agricultural holdings correspond to the Eurostat methodology in the Eurostat database.

16. Cost and burden Cost associated with the collection and production of a statistical product and burden on respondents.

Cost of statistical activity 62.3 thousand euros (data for 2018)

Total time of filling in reports of the statistical activity, working days: 407.6

Average time of filling in the reports, hours per report:

Taimekasvatus 1.5

Saak 0.7

(data for 2016)

17. Data revision Any change in a value of a statistic released to the public.

17.1. Data revision - policy Policy aimed at ensuring the transparency of disseminated data, whereby preliminary data are compiled that are later revised.

The data revision policy and notification of corrections are described in the dissemination policy of Statistics Estonia at https://www.stat.ee/dissemination-policy.

17.2. Data revision - practice Information on the data revision practice.

The published data may be revised if the methodology is modified, errors are discovered, new or better data become available.

18. Statistical processing

18.1. Source data Characteristics and components of the raw statistical data used for compiling statistical aggregates.


Total population is 14,813 objects. The crop farming sample size is 1,683 and the harvest sample size is 628.


Data on sown area of crops by type of crop and persons are received from the Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board (ARIB).

Aggregate data on organic crop farming are received from the organic farming register of the Agricultural Board.


Data from statistical activity 21216 “Survey of agricultural small units” are used.

18.2. Frequency of data collection Frequency with which the source data are collected.


18.3. Data collection Systematic process of gathering data for official statistics.

Data are collected and the submission of questionnaires is monitored through eSTAT (the web channel for electronic data submission). The questionnaires have been designed for independent completion in eSTAT and include instructions and controls. The questionnaires and information about data submission are available on Statistics Estonia’s website at https://www.stat.ee/andmete-esitamine (in Estonian).

Data are collected with the annual official statistics questionnaires “Production” and “Crop farming”.

Administrative data are received by e-mail.

18.4. Data validation Process of monitoring the results of data compilation and ensuring the quality of statistical results.

Arithmetic and qualitative controls are used in the validation process, including comparison with the data of previous periods or other surveys and with administrative data sources.

18.5. Data compilation Operations performed on data to derive new information according to a given set of rules.

Preliminary estimates on sown areas are made based on the data of the register of agricultural support and land parcels of the Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board (ARIB), using when necessary model-based calculations and adding the sown areas of agricultural households. Preliminary production estimates are made in cooperation with the Ministry of Rural Affairs, using ARIB data of sown areas and harvested production data collected from agricultural holdings by September 15. Final crop farming data are compiled based on the data of the ARIB sown areas and survey of crop farming, using when necessary model-based calculations and adding the sown areas of agricultural households.

In the case of sample surveys, weights are calculated for statistical units and are used to expand the data to the total population. The data of the sampled agricultural holdings are expanded to the population separately in each stratum. The expansion factor is the ratio of the population of the respective stratum to the number of responded units. In the case of missing or unreliable data, estimate imputation based on established regulations is used. The data of non-responded agricultural units in the total population stratum are replaced with administrative data, data of the previous period or similar holding, or post-stratification is used.

The data of small units are estimated. For aggregate data for the state, the data of holdings and small units are summed. Variables which were not collected but which are necessary for producing the output are calculated. New variables are calculated by applying arithmetic conversion to already existing variables. This may be done repeatedly, the derived variable may, in turn, be based on previously derived new variables. Microdata are aggregated to the level necessary for analysis. This includes summation of data according to the classification and calculating various statistical measures, e.g. mean. The collected data are converted into statistical output. This includes calculating additional variables.

18.6. Adjustment The set of procedures employed to modify statistical data to enable it to conform to national or international standards or to address data quality differences when compiling specific data sets.

Not applied

19. Comments Supplementary descriptive text which can be attached to data or metadata.

Not available