Last year, a total of 3,348 horticultural enterprises had an outdoor production area of 19 600 hectares and a greenhouse production area of 394 hectares. As many as 2 700 enterprises specialised in outdoor production, with the largest area being in Southwest Finland. There about 910 greenhouse producers.
In 2019, weather conditions were much warmer than usual, especially in Southern Finland. Precipitation was also lower than on average, and the significance of irrigation was emphasised in outdoor horticultural production. The warm weather increased the yields of many outdoor horticultural crops.
High yields of outdoor vegetables
The outdoor harvest totalled up to 200 million kilos, of which carrots made up 77 million kilos and onions 31 million kilos. They were followed by beetroots (25 million kilos) and regular and Savoy cabbages (22 million kilos). In total, 1,076 enterprises produced outdoor vegetables over an area of nearly 11,400 hectares, with Southwest Finland being the primary production area.
Berry harvest increased – significance of tunnel production growing
Last year, berries were produced on 1,650 farms over an area of 7,00 hectares. The strawberry area was the largest at nearly 4,400 hectares. The total yield was 21 million kilos, of which strawberries accounted for 18 million kilos. The blackcurrant harvest was 1.5 and the raspberry harvest 1.3 million kilos.
The tunnel production area increased further to 61 hectares, of which strawberries covered 38 and raspberries 22 hectares. Increased tunnel production has significantly extended the availability of domestic berries, both at the beginning and end of the growth season.
The warm summer also offered ideal conditions for apples, and the apple harvest crossed the line of eight million kilos.
Tomatoes, cucumbers, potted vegetables and ornamental plants from greenhouses
A total of 445 enterprises produced greenhouse vegetables over an area of 230 hectares. The cucumber production area was the highest, reaching a record of 48 million kilos. The tomato harvest was 40 million kilos, of which special tomatoes accounted for 5.6 million kilos. With regard to potted vegetables, 88 million products were grown over an area of 34 hectares.
A total of 453 enterprises produced ornamental plants over an area of 117 hectares. In terms of quantity, bulbous flowers formed the largest group with 87 million products. Of these, 74 million were tulips. As many as 36 million pots of summer flowers were produced for sale.
The 2020 growth season remains a mystery
Of the outdoor horticultural production area, 7 700 hectares are allocated to perennial crops, such as fruit and berries. Their production areas show less variation than production areas of annual crops. Last year, vegetables accounted for 11 466 hectares of the outdoor production area. This year’s round of subsidy applications is still in progress, ending on 15 June. As a result, information about the outdoor horticultural production area can only be obtained in June or July.
However, information about the greenhouse production area, for which subsidy applications have already been submitted, is already known, and the total area is expected to be at the 2019 level, with the greenhouse cucumber area being 56 hectares (-2%), the tomato area 106 hectares (+3%), sweet pepper 11 ha (+28%) and the potted vegetable area 30 hectares (-5%). The greenhouse production area of ornamental plants is estimated to be 137 hectares.
In addition to weather, final yields, especially in outdoor production, are affected by the availability of seasonal workforce. Greenhouse production employs people round the year, which helps to control the situation.