The last growing season was favourable for the outdoor cultivation of vegetables and apples, but difficult for strawberries. The special production of tomatoes in greenhouses grew further and tulip production reached an all-time record. Approximately 3,600 companies engaged in horticultural production on 17,700 hectares outdoors and 400 hectares in greenhouses.
After a couple of poor years, the summer of 2016 yielded a good harvest of outdoor vegetables, with the total harvest amounting to 174 million kilos, of which 73 million kilos were carrots. Outdoor vegetable production is concentrated in the regions of Southwestern Finland and Satakunta, accounting for 60 per cent of total outdoor vegetable production in Finland.
Record harvest for apples and raspberries
For several years, a record harvest of apples has been expected because orchards have been renewed and the cultivation technique developed. Last summer, pollination and growth conditions were favourable and the harvest reached a new record, at 6.5 million kilos. The majority of production comes from the Åland Islands, where the climate favours apples.
Raspberries produced a record harvest as well, 1.3 million kilos, but the strawberry harvest remained lower than usual, particularly in Eastern Finland, where the lack of snow caused damage in the winter. The strawberry harvest remained at 12 million kilos. The total production of berries was 15 million kilos.
The total area of high tunnel cultivation of berries increased to 26 hectares, of which raspberries were cultivated on 16 hectares and strawberries on ten.
Special tomatoes diversify production
Of the total of 40 million kilos of tomatoes produced last year, the share of special tomatoes was more than four million kilos, or 11 per cent of total production. Greenhouse cucumber production totalled 39 million kilos and that of potted vegetables, 100 million pots.
“Tomato and cucumber production is heavily concentrated in the region of the Ostrobothnia ELY Centre (Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment), the Närpiö area in particular. That region accounts for approximately 70 per cent of production,” says Senior Statistician Anna-Kaisa Jaakkonen of Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).
In all, vegetables were cultivated in greenhouses on a total area of 218 hectares, part of which involved the early cultivation of outdoor vegetables.
Summer flowers and bulb flowers the biggest in ornamental plant production
The cultivation area of ornamental plants in greenhouses totalled 121 hectares. The production volumes of summer flowers increased slightly from the previous year, to 38 million plants. However, the biggest surprise was tulips, with 81 million tulips being produced.
“In recent years, tulips have become a loss leader, i.e. a product sold at a low price to attract customers to shops. They are sold not only in flower shops, but also in service stations and supermarkets. The easy availability and abundant and colourful range of varieties have increased the popularity of the tulip,” says Anna-Kaisa Jaakkonen.
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 3,016 enterprises. Contrary to the previous survey, this survey was targeted only 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.