Poland Table of Contents
Of Poland's 18,727,000 hectares of agricultural land (about 60 percent of the country's total area), 14,413,000 hectares were used for crop cultivation, 265,000 for orchards, and about 4,048,500 for meadows and pastures in 1989. In most areas, soil and climatic conditions favored a mixed type of farming. In 1990 the most important crops were grains, of which the highest yields came from wheat, rye, barley, and oats. Other major crops were potatoes, sugar beets, fodder crops, flax, hops, tobacco, and fruits (see table 18, Appendix). Cultivation of corn expanded during the 1980s but remained limited. The northern and east-central regions of the country mainly offered poorer sandy soils suitable for rye and potatoes. The richer soils of the central and southern parts of the country, excluding higher elevations, made those regions the centers of wheat, sugar beet, hops, and tobacco production. The more accessible land at higher elevations was used to cultivate oats or was left as meadow and pastureland. In 1989 almost half of Poland's arable land was used for the cultivation of the four major grains, another 13 percent grew potatoes. All regions of Poland raised dairy cows, beef cattle, pigs, and poultry, and cultivated fruit, usually as an integral part of mixed farming.
In 1989 Poland was the second largest producer of rye and potatoes in the world. The latter were used as vegetables, fodder for pigs, and production of industrial starch and alcohol. The country occupied sixth place in the world in sugar beet, milk, and pig production. The quantity and quality of agricultural land ensured self-sufficiency and considerable quantities of various agricultural products and processed foodstuffs available for export. In 1990 Poland exported 26 percent of the bacon it produced, as well as 63 percent of the ham, 16 percent of the tinned meat, 10 percent of the poultry, 17 percent of the sugar, and 67 percent of the frozen fruits and vegetables.
Data as of October 1992