The new edition of Quantitative Information on (Dutch) Greenhouse Horticulture shows that the cost effectivity of CHP use has declined to become almost zero. On the other hand the carbon footprint still favors using CHP for the heat demand. The scale of the companies continues to increase, but the total Dutch acreage of the main crops is again reduced.
Operating profit is now calculated on the basis of the average economic cost price. With this average cost price calculation, the grower also gets a tool in setting the selling price for his produce. The average economic cost price is calculated from the variable costs and a share of the fixed costs. For the vegetables and cut flowers the total costs are calculated per production period of four weeks. For the pot plants the total costs are calculated per 1000 plants.
The environmental impact of the crops is calculated by using the carbon footprint which applies for different production factors of each crop, distributed to the different factors of production for that crop
On editing this periodical reference book, we can draw the following conclusions:
Whole Dutch horticultural sector:
- Company acreage shows continuous decrease. 69% of the Dutch greenhouse acreage consists of companies larger than 3 ha and 53% larger than 5 ha. The number of nurseries larger than 3 ha has increased by more than 70% since 2000. Nowadays 21% of the companies (880 companies) own 69% of the total acreage.
Figure 1. Development of the number of Dutch nurseries for different acreages per nursery
Figure 2. Development of the total Dutch acreage and average nursery size
- The total acreage of vegetable crops has decreased since 2012, although the total acreage of tomato increased by 55% from 2000 to 2015. The expanse of vine and cherry tomato doubled in that period but that of beefsteak and single tomatoes decreased. Until 2010 the acreage of sweet pepper grew by 22% when compared to 2000 but since 2010 the area decreased by 17%. The share of green sweet peppers decreased in favor of red sweet peppers.
- The acreage of cut flowers has decreased by 50% since 2000. Especially the area of roses and chrysanthemum decreased with respectively 70% and 50%.
- The acreage of flowering pot plants has grown rapidly by 40% since 2000, but recent years it has stabilized.
- Different cultivation systems result in large differences in cost prices and carbon footprints.
- Several crops have an average cost price higher than the realized sales price.
- The cost price advantage of using gas in a CHP as compared to using gas in a boiler, is decreasing towards zero, due to the decreasing price of the electricity that is supplied back to the national electricity grid. The use of CHP still results in an improved carbon footprint.
Source: Wageningen University & Research