The area of tulips grown in the Netherlands has increased by half in the space of tens years, to a new record of some 11 thousand hectares in 2002. The most recent figures, however, show that the area has not expanded further in 2002/2003.
Area of tulips
The proportion of tulips in the total area of bulb fields remained unchanged Tulips have accounted for 40 percent of bulb fields for years now.
Bulbs: areas and number of growers
Increase in scale for bulb cultivation
The total area of flower bulbs in the Netherlands increased at a similar rate as the area of tulips. Since 1980, however, the increase in the area of bulbs has been accompanied by an decrease in the number of bulb farms.
In 2002, the average area of bulbs was 9 hectares per bulb farm. This is more than twice the area of an average bulb farm in the early eighties.
Area of bulbs per province, 1980-2002
Traditional bulb provinces
Two-thirds of the area of bulbs is located in the traditional bulb provinces North and South Holland. In 1990 this was still 80 percent. The area of bulb fields in North Holland has increased by just over 30 percent in the last ten years.
Areas of bulb fields have also increased outside the traditional bulb provinces, especially in the province of Flevoland. This area has doubled since 1990, to nearly 3 thousand hectares. In the provinces of Limburg, Drenthe, and Overijssel the area of bulbs also increased substantially, by 800, 710 and 625 hectares respectively. The increase outside the traditional areas can partly be explained by the phenomenon of ‘‘travelling bulb stalls’.
Cor Pierik and Joost Bakker