Sweden is the third largest country in the EU. However, over half is covered by forest and more than a third comprises mountains, marshes and lakes. Slightly less than 7% of the actual land surface is cultivated. The most important agricultural area is Scandia in the south.
Farming provides employment for less than 3% of the Swedish population. Most farms are family owned and part-time farming is becoming increasingly common, often combining farming and forestry.
As farm numbers have decreased and sizes have grown, there has been a tendency to become more specialised, for example in grain production, dairying or pigs.
In addition to cattle and other farm animals, Sweden has some 300,000 horses. Horse breeding is increasing and will soon be the third largest agricultural income generator. The haylage market is increasing as horse breeders increasingly realise the benefits of using baled silage (haylage) as the main feed.
Silage production trends
Silage production increased over the past years, while the production of hay decreased substantially.