Considerable growth in organic cultivation

Half of red beets are organic, organic potatoes also on the rise

Organic agriculture showed a generally clear growth in 2017 compared to a year previously. In organic agriculture the potato production increased. This shows from the latest figures from the CBS on the organic agriculture in 2017.

The surface of agricultural land for organic agriculture increased by 7.6 percent between 2016 and 2017 to around 56.4 thousand hectares. The growth of the organic dairy industry is noticeable in the increase of the area of organic grassland that is available for the dairy industry among others. This grew by 8.8 percent to 40.1 thousand hectares. In 2017 19.3 percent of the organic agricultural area, around 10.9 thousand hectares, was used for arable farming. This area increased by 3.8 percent in a year.

In total organic agriculture took place on 3.2 percent of the total Dutch agricultural area in 2017.

Organic potato on the rise
The yield of organic consumption potatoes more than doubled in 2017 compared to the previous year. This is mainly to do with the mediocre growing season in 2016 and problems with phytophthora (potato disease). In 2017 almost 60 million kilograms of organic consumption potatoes were produced compared to over 27 million kilos the year before. This is an increase of 118.8 percent. The hectare yield for organic consumption potatoes was 51.3 tonnes per hectare last year, in 2016 it was 24.2 tonnes per hectare. In the regular cultivation the hectare yields were 52.9 and 44.8 tonnes/ha respectively in 2017 and 2016. In general yields in the organic cultivation are more susceptible to swings than the regular cultivation.

The area of organic consumption potatoes grew by almost 35 hectares between 2016 and 2017 to 1,166 hectares, an increase of 3.1 percent. Of the total area of consumption potatoes in the Netherlands, 1.5 percent is organic. 

Half of red beets are organic
In 2017 almost half of the total production of red beets was organic. The yield of organic red beets was over 26 million kilos, almost 11 million kilos more than the year before. In 2017 almost half of the Dutch red beet area consisted of organic red beets. The organic area grew from 327 hectares in 2016 to 443 hectares a year later, an increase of 35.5 percent.

More organic horticulture in the open ground
Last year almost 3 thousand hectares of organic horticulture was cultivated in the open ground. In one years time the area increased by 9.3 percent (252 hectares). It is primarily horticultural vegetables that are grown. Almost a third of organic horticultural vegetables consisted of cucumbers and gourds, including pumpkins and courgettes (672 hectares). Over half (57.2 percent) of the total area of gourds in the open ground is organic. The area of gourds increased by 13.0 percent in the last year compared to 2016.

Source: CBS

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