BMEL: Vegetable cultivation; open-ground and under glass

BMEL: According to the results of the vegetable survey 2021, the cultivated area of vegetables and strawberries stood at 148,290 ha. As a result of the change in the lower coverage limit from 2010, the results are only comparable with the years before this change, to a limited extent. Regardless of this limitation, the cultivation of vegetables (incl. strawberries) has increased in Germany in the long term, despite slight annual fluctuations.

Overall, the area under cultivation has been expanded by around 14% since 2011. There were particularly strong increases in North Rhine-Westphalia (+9,400 ha), Lower Saxony (+3,200 ha), and Bavaria (+3,000 ha), while Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony (-600 ha each) saw a drop in acreage under cultivation in this period. The area under cultivation is divided between vegetables grown outdoors and under glass. Including strawberries, the area under vegetables in the open in 2021 was 145,115 ha, almost 4 percent larger than in the previous year. These annual cultivation surveys also take into account multiple cultivations on the same base area.

Open-ground vegetable cultivation
The actual vegetable acreage (excluding strawberries) in 2021 was 4.2% higher than the previous year at 130,549 ha. Compared with 2020, the yield level was 5% higher on average. Overall, German vegetable growers harvested around 10% (364,000 t) more in 2021 than in the previous year. Among the individual vegetable species, carrots and carrots accounted for the largest harvest volumes in 2021, with 961,968 tons, onions with 664,277 t, and white cabbage with 434,869 t. For these crops, yields per hectare were higher than those of the previous year. Compared with the previous year, the acreage was further expanded, especially for legumes.

The vegetable crop with the largest area in Germany is asparagus (19.7%), followed by onions (12.7%) and carrots (11.4 %).

The organic vegetable area in 2021 was about 18,221 ha. This was about 14 % of the total German open-ground vegetable area. Compared to the previous year (approx. 16,073 ha), this was an increase of some 13 %. Root and tuber vegetables account for the largest share of the organically farmed open-ground vegetable area.

Vegetable cultivation under glass
The cultivation of vegetables under high protective covers was increased by 4.3 % in 2021 compared to the previous year to 1,318 hectares. In the process, the quantity of vegetables produced increased slightly by 3.3% from 195,000 t to 201,500 t. There were some differences in the development of the various types of vegetables. Tomatoes account for the largest acreage within greenhouse cultivation. In contrast, the lowest cultivation volumes are found in radishes. Here, compared to the year 2020, the cultivation volume decreased by -25.5%.

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