In 2019, 375 farms in Rhineland-Palatinate produced 605,000 tonnes of outdoor vegetables. This meant a slightly larger harvest than the previous year's volume of around 589,000 tonnes (plus 2.7 percent). At 19,300 hectares, the area under cultivation was also about 300 hectares larger than in the previous year.
In Rhineland-Palatinate, as in the rest of Germany, vegetables are mainly grown outdoors and only to a small extent in greenhouses. In Rhineland-Palatinate, the area under high protective covers -including greenhouses- amounts to 50 hectares (plus seven hectares; corresponds to 15 percent).
Open-air production takes place mainly on larger farms with areas of 20 hectares or more for vegetable production. In 2019, these farms (excluding strawberries) will account for 38 percent of producers. They cultivated about 93 percent of the area. Each of these larger farms produced vegetables on 125 hectares on average. Compared to the previous year, this corresponds to an average increase in area of just under six hectares per farm in this size category.
Almost seven percent of the area under cultivation was farmed organically. In 2019, this corresponded to a cultivation area of 1,300 hectares. The number of farms with organic field vegetable cultivation has decreased by 20 percent to 60 compared to 2013.
Large-scale radish production
Radishes grow on 13 percent of the cultivated area (2,500 hectares). This means that around three quarters of German radish production comes from Rhineland-Palatinate. Carrots and carrots rank second with just under 2,100 hectares, and spring onions rank third with a good 1,800 hectares. Dry onions were cultivated on eight percent of the area, asparagus on 7.5 percent. With almost 700 hectares of cultivated area, rocket salad will be the most important type of salad in terms of area for the first time in 2019, replacing lamb's lettuce. Together with the other cultivated species, lettuce accounts for 16 percent of the cultivated area.
Rhineland-Palatinate's vegetable cultivation can supply consumers with regional vegetables, especially in the summer months. For climatic reasons, vegetable cultivation has its regional focus in the Palatinate. It is the largest closed cultivation area for outdoor vegetables in Germany. In a comparison of the independent towns and administrative districts, the Rhine-Palatinate district dominates. The neighbouring Germersheim district ranks second.
The vegetable survey is generally carried out every four years (last in 2016) and is representative in the intermediate years. The harvest quantities are only collected representatively. In the areas under cultivation, multiple cultivation within one year on the same base area is taken into account (e.g. the multiple use of a base area by early and late vegetable species). Minor changes in the extent of cultivation and the harvest quantities are only of limited significance due to random sampling errors.
Since 2010, the survey has been limited to agricultural holdings with cultivated areas of at least 0.5 hectares outdoors or at least 0.1 hectares in greenhouses or under high walkable protective covers on which vegetables and/or strawberries or their respective young plants are grown.
For more information: www.statistik.rlp.de