In 2020, the gross seed onion yield declined by 4 percent relative to 2019. Also, according to the definitive crop estimates conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the gross yield of ware potatoes remained virtually unchanged.
According to these estimates, in 2020 the gross yield of seed onions stood at approximately 1.3 million tonnes (-4 percent). The weather conditions in the spring of 2020 caused slightly bigger crop failures compared to the previous year.
Last year, the crop yield of second-year onion sets was studied for the first time. These onions are not sown but planted as first-year onion bulbs. From the 6.5 thousand hectares of onion cultivation area, a yield was produced of 283 thousand tonnes or around one-fifth of the total seed onion yield.
Seed onion cultivation area has declined
In 2020, seed onion cultivation covered an area of 27.3 thousand ha. This is 0.3 thousand ha (1.1 percent) less than one year previously. Ware potato cultivation fell by 2.7 percent last year, to 76.7 thousand ha. At the same time, the sugar beet area rose by almost 3 percent to 81.5 thousand ha.
Provisional and definitive crop estimates
Every year in October, CBS publishes provisional crop estimates (including gross yield and hectare yield), based on expert estimates of the expected crop yield per hectare. The total gross crop yield may ultimately be higher or lower. Due to weather conditions for instance, it is possible that part of the cultivated area is not harvested or that the final yields per hectare are higher or lower.
The definitive crop estimates (including gross yield and hectare yield) over the same year are subsequently published in January of the following year and based on a survey among nearly 5 thousand crop farmers. Based on the survey, the final yield per hectare is determined as well as the crop yield ratio, i.e. the actual over the potential harvest yield.