The most recent growing season produced high berry and fruit yields, while outdoor vegetables suffered from drought to some degree. Outdoor production totalled 25 million kilos of berries and fruit, and 163 million kilos of vegetables. The berry and fruit harvest was one million kilos higher than in the previous year, whereas the outdoor vegetable harvest decreased by 3.5 million kilos.
“Even though the 2017 and 2018 growing seasons were highly different from one another, both years produced record-high yields of strawberries and apples. The strawberry harvest was 15 million kilos and the apple harvest was seven million kilos. Irrigation was highly important last summer in order to produce high yields. Of course, irrigation also caused additional work and costs for farmers”, says Anna-Kaisa Jaakkonen, senior statistician at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).
Southwest Finland challenges Savonia in strawberry production
The total berry harvest was 18 million kilos. Strawberry harvest levels were high in its main production areas, being more than 4,000 kilos per hectare in the Southern and Northern Savonia regions. In addition, the strawberry area increased to 4,155 hectares in the whole of Finland. On the basis of total yields, Southwest Finland was the second most important region in terms of strawberry production, following Northern Savonia.
Carrots and garden peas leading outdoor production
Garden peas were the most important outdoor vegetables in terms of the area. Its production is divided into peas sold with their pods and frozen peas. The production area of garden peas has increased for several years now. Compared to 2017, the garden pea area increased by 680 hectares to 4,717 hectares. Its harvest was 6.4 million kilos.
Of all outdoor vegetables, carrots produced the highest yield at 67 million kilos. This was four million kilos higher than in 2017.
Already one-fifth of the total tomato area is covered by special varieties
Tomato production remained unchanged at 39 million kilos. Of this, special tomato varieties accounted for 5.2 million kilos. The greenhouse cucumber harvest was 45 million kilos. The area of the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY) of the Ostrobothnia region covered 70 per cent of the total tomato yields and 84 per cent of the total greenhouse cucumber yields. Production is highly concentrated on the municipality of Närpes where 60 per cent of all cucumbers and tomatoes were produced.
The strength of vegetables produced in pots is the broad range of plant varieties, which follows any changes in demand and food culture.
“Currently, it is estimated that 50–60 different varieties of vegetables are produced in pots. The size of the “other potted vegetables” group has increased steadily”, Anna-Kaisa Jaakkonen says.
A total of 3,407 enterprises were engaged in horticultural production. Of these, 2,708 were engaged in outdoor production and 999 in greenhouse production. The outdoor production area was approximately 20,000 hectares, of which the Southwest Finland, Tavastia and Uusimaa regions accounted for half. Half of the greenhouse area of 400 hectares was located in the areas of the ELY Centres of Ostrobothnia and Southwest Finland.
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 2018, the survey covered a total of 3,116 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.