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Netherlands see more seed onions harvested, fewer potatoes

In 2023, the gross crop yield for seed onions rose by 9.2 percent compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, the gross yield for ware potatoes fell by 5.6 percent. Gross yields for barley (-20.3 percent) and wheat (-7.4 percent) were also down. This is evident from the definitive arable crop yield estimates published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

The gross yield per hectare for seed onions was 45.7 tonnes in 2023, an increase of 2.7 percent relative to the previous year. This figure only fell lower than this level in 2022 and 2018. The total cultivated area for seed onions was larger in 2023 than one year previously (+6.9 percent). A total of 1.3 million tons of seed onions were harvested, an increase of more than 9 percent.

Regional differences in seed onion yields
Particularly in the north of the country, one hectare of seed onions yielded more on average (+8.9 percent) in 2023 than in the previous year. In other parts of the country, yields per hectare remained similar to 2022 yields.

In the west of the Netherlands, the gross yield per hectare for seed onions has been structurally lower than in the other parts of the country in recent years. This is mainly attributable to the situation in the province of Zeeland, where due to soil salinisation and a lack of fresh water for irrigation, it is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve high yields per hectare.

More yellow onions harvested and fewer red onions
The gross yield per hectare for yellow seed onions in 2023 was 46.2 tonnes, nearly 2 percent higher than in 2022. In addition, the cultivated area also expanded to more than 25 thousand hectares, nearly 14 percent more than the previous year. In total, 1.2 million tons of yellow seed onions were harvested (+14.9 percent).

The gross yield for red seed onions was also higher (+5.8 percent) than the previous year, at 42.3 tonnes per hectare. However, the cultivated area for red seed onions fell to almost 4 thousand hectares, 25 percent less than the previous year. This affected the gross yield. A total of 157 thousand tonnes of red seed onions were harvested, down 20 percent compared to 2022.

Decline in ware potato yield
The yield per hectare for ware potatoes was 45.8 tonnes in 2023, 2.8 percent lower than one year previously. The cultivated area fell by 1.2 percent to 75 thousand hectares.

The total gross yield for ware potatoes fell by over 5 percent to a total of 3.4 million tonnes. Due to the wet weather conditions, it has not been possible to harvest all cultivated plots and there are currently still potatoes in the ground. There is a high chance that it will not be possible to harvest these due to frost. As a result, unharvested potatoes (by area) will be higher than the figure currently reported (2.6 percent), and the total gross yield will therefore be lower.

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