New apple varieties increasingly popular

New apple varieties, such as Junami, Kanzi and Rubens have become increasingly popular in recent years. Over the past six years, the area where these varieties are grown has been expanded to 988 hectares (ha). For 2010, the expansion process is anticipated to continue. Older apple varieties like Golden Delicious and Cox’s Orange are grown less each year and are under threat of disappearing altogether. The total apple-growing area has been reduced almost by half since 1992.

Fewer Cox’s Orange and Golden Delicious grown

The area for cultivation of Cox’s Oranges has been reduced from 2,162 ha in 1992 to 160 ha in 2009 and for Golden Delicious from 1,636 ha to 500 ha over the same period. The cultivation area for Rode van Boskoop, better known as Goudreinette was reduced from 1,587 ha to 574 ha.

Apple-growing areas by variety

Apple-growing areas by variety

Most popular varieties

Popular apple varieties like Elstar, Jonagold and Jonagored are grown on a large scale in the Netherlands, but their cultivation areas are also shrinking. The area of the most popular apple variety in the Netherlands, the Elstar, was reduced by 4 ha to 3,960 ha. Jonagold and Jonagored areas together were reduced by 70 ha to 2,305 ha in 2009.

Apple-growing area

Apple-growing area

Apple-growing area almost reduced by half

Since 1992, the total orchard area in the Netherlands has been reduced by almost 50 percent. In 1992, nearly 17 thousand ha were covered by apple trees versus just over 9 thousand ha in 2009. These 9 thousand ha are covered by nearly 27 million apple trees.

Apple harvest down in 2010

The apple harvest will be smaller than last year. The National Crop Estimates Committee expects that 340 million kg of apples will be harvested in 2010, a decrease by 17 percent on last year, when the apple harvest totalled 407 million kg.

Marius Reitsema