Lubuskie – agriculture near the border
Lubuskie is inhabited by the smallest population out of all 16 Polish voivodeships. The region is distinguished by the fact that as much as 51% of its territory is covered with forests, which means that the quality of soil is poor. However, the activity of local farmers is becoming more and more successful and profitable.
Soil treatment is indispensable
Research shows that only 26% of soil in the region (mainly 4th – 6th class) does not require liming, or treatment necessary for the de-acidification of soil and improving its fertility thanks to better absorption of minerals like phosphorous, magnesium and potassium. As a result, consumption of lime fertilizers in Lubuskie is the 6th largest out of all Polish voivodeships (39.9 kg/ha in the case of farmland in good agricultural and environmental condition; 35 kg/ha on average). On the other hand, the overall consumption of NPK fertilizers is low, with Lubuskie in the 12th place out of all voivodeships (108.7 kg/ha in the case of farmland in good agricultural and environmental condition; 129.6 kg/ha on average).
Less numerous, but larger
Farmland ownership consolidation is progressing fast in the region. The data from 2002 to 2010 indicates a drop in the number of farms. Almost 4,000 smallest farms (under 1 ha) disappeared, while the number of the largest farms – measuring over 50 ha – climbed from 1,000 to 1,400. This puts Lubuskie in the 4th place in Poland if the average size of the farm is taken into consideration, with the figure of 14.1 ha (as compared to the national average of 7.92 ha).
New pattern of crops
Another development in the period from 2002 to 2010 was the increase of the total acreage of plantations from 248,000 ha to 285,100 ha. The crops which have become more popular are edible maize (growth by 2.4%) maize for fodder and other fodder plants (by 103.2%), rape and turnip (by 158.3%), and industrial crops (by 132.9%). At the same time, the size of potato and sugar beet plantations decreased. Many farms have set up and expanded the size of orchards (by over 67%), due to the fact that fruit processing plants have increased their manufacturing capacity, and the German market provides good opportunities of exporting fresh produce.