In 2020, the agricultural area devoted to arable crops in the Netherlands fell by 0.3 percent relative to the previous year. The common wheat cultivation area declined by almost 9 percent. There was growth in the acreage used for barley (15.3 percent) and sugar beet (3.5 percent). This is evident from provisional results of the 2020 Agricultural Census, conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
According to this year’s agricultural census, the Netherlands has over 530 thousand hectares of land devoted to arable farming. This is 1.6 thousand hectares (0.3 percent) less than one year previously. The surface area in use for arable crops has been in decline since 2000. More than 100 thousand hectares of arable land (16 percent) have disappeared since then. There has been no further decline since 2016.
Less land for ware potatoes
This year, the total cultivation area for ware potatoes has declined by nearly 1.8 thousand hectares to 77 thousand hectares (-2.3 percent). Areas in use for seed and starch potatoes have increased slightly over the past twelve months; both by approximately 1 percent. The share of seed potatoes in the total potato area has continued to rise slightly again over the past year. As of 2020, over one-quarter of the total potato area (over 44 thousand ha) is in use for seed potatoes; the area in use for starch potatoes is nearly equal in size (27 percent). The bulk of the potato area consists of ware potatoes (46.2 percent).
Since 2000, the seed potato area has grown by 2.4 thousand ha (5.7 percent) while the ware potato area declined by 10 thousand ha (-12 percent) and the starch potato area by 5.6 thousand ha (-11 percent).
Slight decline in seed onion area
Seed onion cultivation occupies over 27 thousand ha this year. This is 180 ha less than one year previously, representing a decline of around 0.7 percent. In 2019, the seed onion area still grew by almost 10 percent. The long-term trend in seed onion cultivation is still one of growth. Relative to 2000, the total seed onion area has doubled.
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