The last growing season was favourable for berries and fruit, but more challenging for the outdoor cultivation of vegetables. Outdoor production totalled 24 million kilos of berries and fruit, and 167 million kilos of vegetables. The production of greenhouse vegetables totalled 87 million kilos. In addition, more than 100 million pots of potted vegetables were produced.
A total of 3,729 companies engaged in horticultural production on 19,300 hectares outdoors and 389 hectares in greenhouses. Of these companies, 2,984 were engaged in outdoor production and 1,062 in greenhouse production.
Record harvest for apples
Outdoor production of berries was high in 2017, totalling as much as 17 million kilos. The harvest of strawberries, the most important outdoor berry, increased to 13.8 million kilos, being nearly two million kilos more than in the previous year. One-fourth of all strawberries were cultivated in Northern Savonia. The raspberry harvest remained at one million kilo, being smaller than in the year before.
– The long-term development of the cultivation of apples has produced good results, and shops have had Finnish apples longer in stock. Last year’s apple harvest was an all-time high at 6.8 million kilos. Of this harvest, a majority, five million kilos, comes from the Åland Islands, says senior statistician Anna-Kaisa Jaakkonen from the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).
Root vegetables and onion the most important outdoor vegetables
Last year, outdoor vegetable production totalled 167 million kilos, being smaller than in 2016. Production was at the same level as in 2015. Of this production, the harvest of carrots totalled 62 million kilos and that of onion was 26 million kilos. Even though the cultivation area of carrots was larger than in 2016, the total harvest of carrots was 10 million kilos was lower than in the previous year.
Of the outdoor vegetable production area, 48 per cent was located in the areas of the ELY Centres of Southwestern Finland and Satakunta, also accounting for more than half of total production. These areas also account for most of contractual outdoor vegetable production in Finland, being located close to the processing food industry.
Production of tomatoes and greenhouse cucumbers concentrated in Ostrobothnia
Greenhouse vegetable production totalled 87 million kilos, of which greenhouse cucumbers accounted for 43 million kilos and tomatoes 39 million kilos. Production is becoming highly centralised, as close to 70 per cent of the production of both tomatoes and cucumbers comes from the area of the ELY Centre of Ostrobothnia, particularly from the Närpiö region.
More than 100 million pots of potted vegetables were sold, of which lettuce made up 72 million pots. The total production of potted vegetables increased slightly from the previous year, while it decreased from 2015.
– The production of potted vegetables has probably reached a saturation point with regard to lettuce, dill and parsley. Growth is now sought from the expansion of the vegetable range. Currently, different shoots, nettles even, are produced in pots, and the range of herbs in particular has diversified. Other potted vegetables already made up 14 per cent of total production, Jaakkonen says.
Background to the statistics
Information for horticultural statistics is collected once a year, through online service and phone interviews, from all enterprises that grow horticultural products for sale. Conducted in October–December 2016, the survey covered a total of 3,000 enterprises. This survey was targeted at those enterprises whose value of horticultural production for sale was at least EUR 10,000. For smaller enterprises, information on cultivation areas was obtained from the aid register, and their yields were estimated on the basis of average yields.