In the 1960’s the decline of Spanish agriculture begin to make its mark on the country, as rural Spain disappeared began to develop into a an industry that appears backwards by western Europe standards. The European agricultural “norm” seems to reply heavily on larger farms, rather than old-fashioned, small, family farms. In contrast, Spain leans primarily on small operations; in fact, only about one-fifth per hectare of the average capital investment exists for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development or the OECD.
While agriculture in Spain has seen an increase through evolved technologies and irrigation systems have lead to the transformation of lands, Spain has also faced its challenges in maintaining their system in the past thirty years. After joining the EEC in 1986, many small-scale grape and dairy producers were forced to terminate their operations merely because they were unable to maintain the standard demanded of them.
Cereals (barley and wheat), coupled with fruits and vegetables, are the fundamental crops grown in Spain. In fact the three commodities make up for three-fourths of Spanish agricultural exports. Aside from the predominant contributors to the economy, corn is grown in the north; while tobacco, cotton, sugar beets, and olives are all grown throughout the Spanish valleys.
Because, like Italy, Spain is known for its wold-wide production and exportation of wine, grape farmers are substantially crucial to the economic growth of the country.