To main content

Production of cereals, dried pulses and oil seeds 2020

Damage to agricultural crops caused by wildlife has doubled

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2021-07-06 9.30

Damage caused by wildlife has doubled since the latest survey in 2014. In total, 165 000 tonnes of grain were destroyed by wildlife in 2020, compared with 88 000 tonnes in 2014.

Wild boars cause the most damage

Wild boar is the species that causes the most damage to almost all agricultural crops. In total, 85 400 tonnes of grain were destroyed by wild boars in 2020, which corresponds to 1.4 percent of the harvest. This figure has also doubled since 2014. Wild boars accounted for the majority of wildlife damage to all crops except spring rape, where fallow deer accounted for most of the damage to the crop. For winter rape, in addition to wild boars, moose, red deer and fallow deer, as well as geese and whooper swans also caused considerable damage.

Many farmers have also stopped growing crops that wild boars like. More than one in three farmers stated that the wildlife affects their choice of crop.

In 2020, damage caused by wildlife occurred on 17 percent of the cultivated area for cereals. The largest proportion of damage occurred in the woodlands of Götaland, where 27 percent of the cultivated area for cereals had wildlife damage. Wildlife damage to table potatoes and starch potatoes represented nearly 15 percent and 28 percent respectively of the country’s total areas of cultivation. Temporary grasses are Sweden’s largest crop in terms of acreage, and 139 000 hectares, corresponding to 17 percent of the cultivated area had some form of wildlife damage. Details of wildlife damage were collected for wild boar, moose, red deer, fallow deer, roe deer, cranes, geese, swans, pigeons, corvids, badgers, voles, brown bear and other wildlife.

Harvest damage varies greatly

For the country as a whole, crop losses due to wildlife damage amounted to between 1.2 and 6.7 percent of the total harvest per crop. There were large variations, both geographically and among crops. Many farmers had no wildlife damage at all, while 2 percent reported that more than one-half of the harvest was destroyed by wildlife. When it comes to peas, for example, 11 percent of the farmers had wildlife damage that represented between 20 and 100 percent of the total harvest.

In Södermanland County, damage caused by wildlife was particularly great; crop losses amounted to 22 percent for temporary grasses, 32 percent for peas, 10 percent for winter rape and 8 percent for cereals.

Just over half of the farmers had wildlife damage

Among farmers who cultivate cereals, dried pulses and oilseeds, 54 percent had wildlife damage to one or more crops. Among the growers of table potatoes and starch potatoes, 26 percent and 39 percent respectively had wildlife damage, while the corresponding figure for growers of temporary grasses was 30 percent.

Wildlife also affects the type of crop grown

As many as one in three farmers stated that the presence of wildlife affects their choice of crops. The presence of wild boar has the greatest impact on what can be cultivated. Peas and oats are crops that many farmers completely refrain from cultivating, but wheat and winter rape can also be difficult to cultivate in many places.

Previous publications

Information about damage caused by wildlife has been collected for the whole country once before, in 2014. The results are presented in the Swedish Board of Agriculture database and in statistical reports. The statistics are based on information from farmers who submitted information on wildlife damage in connection with the data collection on the year’s harvests for various crops.

Feel free to use the facts from this statistical news but remember to state Source: Statistics Sweden.

Statistical agency

Swedish Board of Agriculture

+46 36 15 50 00


Maria Edman

+46 36 15 57 25


SCB, Agriculture and Energy Statistics Unit

701 89 Örebro


Gerda Ländell

+46 10 479 68 07