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Horticulture statistics - 2023

Value of UK home-produced vegetables increased by 10% to just under £1.9 billion in 2023

The value of home-produced vegetables increased by 10% to just under £1.9 billion in 2023, and the volume of home production decreased by 4.9% to 2.2 million tonnes. There was an increase of 12% in the value of field vegetables, at £1.5 billion (£155 million increase) whilst the value of protected vegetables increased by 3.7% to £374 million (£13 million increase).

Home produced fruit has risen in value to just over £1 billion, an increase of 3.1% compared to 2022, with production volumes decreasing 12% to 585 thousand tonnes. UK ornamentals were worth £1.7 billion in 2023, an increase of 9.6% compared to 2022.

Areas for vegetables reduced by 6.5% at 101 thousand hectares. The start of the year was drier than expected, enabling wide-scale drilling of carrots, onions and parsnips in the east of England. Crops drilled in this period produced better than average yield. A wet spring meant little was planted or drilled on land with lighter soil, it also made harvesting difficult, especially on the heavier soils. This significantly delayed the start of the season for most crops. In early summer the weather turned hot and dry, so that any crops established in this period favoured farmers with access to irrigation and those without struggled to get crops to germinate or grow. In July, the weather turned wet, and this persisted until the end of the year, causing harvesting and disease issues.

The planted area of brassicas decreased by 3.1% at 23 thousand hectares. Where conditions allowed for planting, the crops grew well as the colder, wetter conditions were favourable and this initially helped some of the crop to establish, following the hot, dry May and June. However, as the rain continued into autumn and winter, the water logging has significantly slowed growth, leading to reduced yields across the board.

Broccoli yields fell by 0.4% at 8.5 tonnes per hectare with market prices increasing by 4.3% at £2.43 per kg, the overall value of the crop rose to £107 million, a 0.2% decrease on 2022 values. Production fell by 1.4% at 63 thousand tonnes and the area planted reduced by 1.0% to 7,465 hectares.

Cauliflower yields fell by 9.2% at 8.1 tonnes per hectare, market prices increasing by 50% at £1.26 per head, the overall value of the crop increased by 33% to £75 million. Year on year the area planted fell by 1.1% to 8,754 hectares with overall production reducing by 10% to 71 thousand tonnes.

2023 has seen the lowest area of bulb onions planted for several decades at 7,349 hectares, mainly due to poor planting conditions in the spring and poor harvesting conditions in the autumn. Some growers started drilling in the dry weather at the start of the year and produced good yields, however those that had to wait (due to the prolonged rainfall in March and April) struggled to achieve satisfactory yields. The rain in the latter half of the growing season meant that onions were much larger than expected, with over all yields increasing by 13% to 38 tonnes per hectare. Overall production decreased by 3.6% to 283 thousand tonnes with the value increasing by 48% to £196 million and the average market price increasing by 54% to £0.81 per kg.


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