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Germany Witnesses Drop in Organic Cultivation

Germany witnessed a decline of 12% from 2021 and 2% less than the average for the years 2016 to 2021. 2021 had seen 4.3 million tons of vegetable production.

Eashani Chettri
Germany witnessed 19% decrease in carrot harvest volume
Germany witnessed 19% decrease in carrot harvest volume

Germany harvested a total of 3.8 million tons of vegetables from 6,100 farms in 2022. This was a decline of 12% from 2021 and 2% less than the average for the years 2016 to 2021. 2021 had seen 4.3 million tons of vegetable production, however, the heat and drought in 2022 caused the decline. Total vegetable cultivation areas dropped by 4% (to 126,400 hectares) compared to 2021 as well.

Out of 17,800 hectares of organically managed farms, a total of 431,000 tons of vegetables were produced. After a steady increase in organic acreage from the first survey in 2012 by a total of 71%, this dipped for the first time in 2022 by 4% compared to 2021, while harvest volume was reduced by 10%. The share of total organic production in the total vegetable harvest and area was unchanged in each example at 11% of the harvested volume and 14% of the cultivated area.

Like in previous years, carrots had the greatest harvest volume in Germany in 2022, totalling 780,500 tonnes on an open-ground area of 13,600 hectares. The area under cultivation decreased by 9% from the previous year, which resulted in a 19% decrease in harvest volume. In terms of harvest volume, onions came in second with 578,200 tonnes (a decrease of 13% from 2021), followed by white cabbage with 384,700 tonnes (a decrease of 12%), pickled cucumbers with 168,500 tonnes (a decrease of 1%), and iceberg lettuce with 138,800 tonnes (+6%).


Carrots ranked third in terms of total open-ground vegetable acreage, behind onions with 15,100 hectares (+4%) and onions with 25,000 hectares (-2%), of which 21,300 hectares were productive (-5%). Asparagus is a particularly popular crop in Germany. White cabbage, with 5,400 hectares (-2%), fresh peas, with 5,000 hectares (-11%), and edible pumpkins, with 4,800 hectares (+-0%), came in second and third, respectively.

In four German states, two-thirds of the open-ground vegetable acreage

In 2022, vegetables were produced outdoors on 125,200 hectares. In comparison to 2021, this represents a 4% reduction in the area under open-ground farming. In 2022, North Rhine-Westphalia had the most land planted with vegetables (28,700 hectares), followed by Lower Saxony (21,900 hectares), Rhineland-Palatinate (16,000 hectares), and Bavaria (15,800 hectares). In North Rhine-Westphalia, the most significant vegetables were asparagus and carrots, in Lower Saxony and Bavaria, asparagus and onions, and in Rhineland-Palatinate, radishes and onions.

Tomatoes and cucumbers made up 83% of the crop volume in greenhouses

In 2022 compared to 2021, less vegetable growing was done under high protective coverings, such as greenhouses or high film covers. The harvested area fell by roughly 4% to just under 1,300 hectares and the harvested volume fell by 4% to 194,400 tonnes. At 102,200 tonnes, tomatoes continued to be the top crop in protected cultivation—nearly identical to 2021. Cucumbers, at 59,000 tonnes (-12%), had the second-largest crop volume of any vegetable, followed by peppers, at slightly over 16,900 tonnes (-5%).

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