According to Statistics Netherlands’ provisional crop estimates, farmers expect the potato crop to be 8 percent lower in 2005 than in 2004. This means they will lift some 4,8 billion kilos of ware and seed potatoes. The yield averages nearly 44 thousand kilos per hectare, 6 percent down on 2004. In the south of the Netherlands in particular this year’s crop is smaller than last year’s. The seed onion crop is expected to be 13 percent smaller this year than last year, mainly because the area used to cultivate seed onions has been reduced by 9 percent.
Fewer potatoes in the south
In the provinces North Brabant and Limburg potato crops were nearly 17 percent smaller than in 2004. The yield per hectare fell by 11 percent but is still higher than in other parts of the Netherlands. This is because only few seed potatoes- which have a lower yield per hectare - are gown in the south of the country.
Smaller potatoes crops on sandy soil
The crops of potatoes grown on sandy and peat soil were 17 percent smaller in 2005 than in 2004. On the one hand this is the result of a sharp drop in the area on which potatoes are grown, and on the other it is the effect of a decrease in the average yield. In the east of the Netherlands in particular the areas of sandy soil on which potatoes are cultivated has diminished. The yield of potatoes grown on clay soil was 5 percent smaller this year than last year.
Decrease in onion crops
The seed onion crop is expected to come to 1.1 billion kilograms in 2005. This is 13 percent smaller than in 2004, which was a top year for onions. The area of onions was 9 percent smaller than 2004, and the yield was 5 percent down. The yield per hectare was 59 thousand kilos. Areas of onion cultivation were reduced in North Brabant and Limburg in particular (-22 percent), while the yield per hectare also diminished substantially in these provinces (-15 percent).