In 2019, there were 36,111 agricultural holdings in Belgium. This number remained stable compared to 2018 (-0.13 %) in both regions. This is what emerged from the final results of the agricultural statistics produced by Statbel, the Belgian statistical office.
The total bovine livestock has decreased in 2019 by about 25,000 head, or 1 %. In both parts of the country, there was a decrease in almost all age groups. More specifically, there was a decrease in the number of animals kept for meat production. However, the number of dairy cows has increased by 1.65 %, or about 8,700 head in 2019.
After an increase in the pig livestock in 2018, it has decreased by 2 % in 2019. There was a decrease in all categories. There were some increases in Wallonia, but only 6.21 % of the total pig livestock is in this region.
Poultry in Belgium has increased by 3.42 % compared to 2018. The number of hens has remained stable (+0.27 %). This is due to a 3 % decrease in the number of laying hens (-339,655 head), offset by a 9.9 % increase in the number of pullets (+380,251 head). The number of laying hens for hatching eggs has increased and the number of laying hens for table eggs has decreased. While the number of bovine animals and pigs kept for meat production decreased in 2019, the number of broiler chickens has registered a striking increase of 5 %.
Evolution of agricultural areas
The utilised agricultural area in Belgium has increased by 2,628 ha (+0.19 %) to 1,358,705 ha. 35 % of the agricultural area consists of permanent grassland. Cereals cover 23 % of agricultural areas and forage crops 21 %.