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Harvests expected to be below ten-year average

German apple and plum harvest below last year's level

Apples remain by far the most cultivated variety of standard fruit in Germany. In 2021, the standard fruit growers expect an apple harvest of about 937,000 tonnes and a plum harvest of 34,000 tonnes. The German Statistical Office (Destatis) reported in July 2021 that the apple harvest will be almost 87,000 tonnes, 8.5% lower than the previous year. Compared to the ten-year average, 24,000 tonnes of apples are expected to be harvested this year, which is around 2% less.

Apples are grown on an area of around 34,000 hectares throughout Germany. The main growing areas are in Baden-Württemberg (Bodensee region), Lower Saxony (the Alte Land) and in Saxony. More than two thirds (72%) of all apples are expected to be harvested there. Baden-Württemberg is the most important German state for apple growing, with approximately one-third (36%) of the area under apples and the total harvest.

Plum harvest is expected to fall by around a quarter
At 34,000 tonnes, this year's plum harvest is expected to be about one quarter (-27%) lower than last year's 47,000 tonnes. Since the plum harvest in 2020 was almost equal to the ten-year average, a roughly 27% smaller plum harvest compared to the long-term average is also expected. Reasons for the currently lower harvest expectations are unfavourable weather conditions and late frosts, which have led to reduced or no fruit setting. In addition, plums are an alternate fruit type. Therefore, a better harvest year (such as in 2020) is normally followed by a year with a smaller harvest.

Plums are currently grown on 4,200 hectares in Germany. The largest plum areas are in Baden-Württemberg (1,800 hectares) and Rheinland-Pfalz (900 hectares). More than half (58%) of all plums will probably be harvested in these states.

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