Given the increased attention to risk management in the European Union’s (EU) Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), it is important to monitor and evaluate the rates of adoption by farmers and their determinants over time. Current European agricultural statistics (Farm Accountancy Data Network) capture few indicators that assess such strategies, but complementing data collected during the EU Framework 7 project FLINT have allowed the adoption of risk management strategies and the determinants of farmers’ preference for complementary or substitute instruments to be assessed. Adoption rates of risk management instruments such as insurance contracts, price contracts, off-farm income, other types risk of reduction measures and other gainful activities vary significantly across EU Member States and farming types. Econometric analysis indicates that larger farms more often adopt crop insurance, occupational accident insurance, price contracts and diversification but are less likely to adopt credit avoidance and off-farm employment (at a significance level of 1 per cent). For policy analyses these indicators are a step forward for the determination of the net impacts and establishment of counterfactuals in the long term (i.e. time series encompassing also adverse years) for measuring the impact of the CAP at farm level.