In 2021, 6,260 farms in Germany harvested 4.3 million tons of vegetables. This was 9% more than in 2020 and 15% more than the average for the years 2015 to 2020, due in part to favorable weather conditions in 2021. As the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) further reports, vegetable cultivation areas were expanded by 4% to 131,900 hectares compared with 2020. This was 5% more than the average for the years 2015 to 2020. Organic farms produced a total of 476 700 tons of vegetables on 18,500 hectares. This represents 14% of the total vegetable area and 11% of the total harvest. Compared to 2020, the amount harvested on organically farmed land increased by 18%, and by as much as 47% compared to the average from 2015 to 2020.
Carrots have highest crop volume, followed by onions
The dominant vegetable in German agriculture is the carrot. In 2021, around 962,000 tons of these were harvested from the open field in Germany. Compared to 2020, this represented an increase of 20% and, compared to the average for the years 2015 to 2020, even 40%. The vegetable with the second largest harvest volume in 2021 was the edible onion with 664,300 tons (+23% compared to 2020), followed by white cabbage with 434,900 tons (-2%).
Carrots now grow on an area of 14,900 open-field hectares. This represents an increase of 8% compared to 2020. In terms of total open-field vegetable acreage, carrots are in second place, behind asparagus with 25,700 hectares. The area for asparagus remained almost constant compared to the previous year. Thereby, the harvestable area was 22,300 hectares or 87% of the total asparagus area. Onions had the third largest acreage with 14,500 hectares (+18%).
Largest areas under vegetables in the open in North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Rhineland-Palatinate.
In total, vegetables were grown outdoors on some 130,500 hectares in 2021. This represents a 4% increase in the area under open-air cultivation compared with 2020, and a 5% increase compared with the average for 2015 to 2020. In 2021, the largest areas of vegetables grown outdoors were in North Rhine-Westphalia with 29,000 hectares, Lower Saxony with 22,300 hectares and Rhineland-Palatinate with 17,900 hectares.
Tomatoes and cucumbers most important greenhouse crops
Vegetables are not only grown outdoors, but also under high walkable protective covers, for example greenhouses or high film covers. The area under cultivation here in 2021 was just over 1,300 hectares (+4% compared to 2020) and the harvested volume 198,400 tons (+2%). Tomatoes accounted for the largest harvest volume in protected cultivation with 98,600 tons - a decrease of 3% compared to 2020. The vegetable with the second largest harvest volume was cucumbers with 67,000 tons (+6%) followed by peppers with 17,800 tons (+11%).