In this study the cause-specific mortality of male farmers in Finland was compared with the mortality of all economically active men. Mortality was also examined by size of farm, by type of farm production, and by geographic area. It was shown that, compared to the mortality of all economically active men, that of the farmers was generally low. The only exception was mortality due to respiratory diseases, for which the mortality rate of the farmers was about 40-50% higher than that of all economically active men. The rate ratio, which was higher for those men with small farms, was almost independent of the cause of death. The rate ratio was highest for farmers in eastern and northern Finland. Assessed by type of farm production, the differences in mortality were small. It was supposed that the high rate ratio of respiratory deaths among farmers was, at least partly, work-related. The high mortality of the men with a small farm was shown to be associated with the higher proportion of smokers among this group of farmers.