The output reduction of table and seed potatoes was restricted to 3 percent in 2006, relative to the previous year. The reduction was less dramatic than anticipated in October, mainly because the yield per hectare exceeded previous estimates on account of the favourable weather conditions in autumn.
Output per hectare of seed onions was dissappointing. Total corn crop was reduced by 2 percent, according to the definite harvest estimates published by Statistics Netherlands.
Potato crop down again
In 2006, output of table and seed potatoes was 3 percent down on one year previously. The reduction is far less substantial than anticipated early October last year. Farmers in the province of Flevoland had a much better potato output than expected. The yield per hectare in the provinces of South Holland and Zeeland exceeded the estimates. Last year, more area was used to grow potatoes in these provinces than in 2005.
The area used to grow potatoes for starch production was reduced and the yield per hectare was smaller, resulting in a substantially smaller harvest. The potato harvest in the Netherlands – including table and seed potatoes – totalled more than 6 billion kilograms in 2006, a decrease by 8 percent compared to 2005. In 2005, the potato harvest was 9 percent down on 2004.
Fewer seed onions despite larger area
Last year’s total harvest of seed onions was 13 percent smaller than in 2005. An area expansion by almost 10 percent could not compensate for the low yield per hectare. Total seed onion output was more than 853 million kilograms in 2006.
More winter wheat, less spring barley
Approximately 85 percent of the total corn area was used to grow winter wheat and spring barley in 2006. Both varieties had a 2 percent smaller yield per hectare. Altogether, output increased by 2 percent, due to expansion of cultivation area. The reduction in area used to grow spring barley, on the other hand, resulted in an output decrease by 15 percent. The sugar beet area has been reduced continually in recent years and last year’s output was 9 percent down on 2005.