Worst strawberry harvest expected in a quarter of a century

Status: 07/20/2023 12:33 p.m

The strawberry and asparagus harvest in Germany in 2023 was probably worse than it had been for many years. In the case of strawberries, for example, the farms are expecting the lowest harvest volume outdoors since 1998.

Less acreage, higher costs, cool spring: the strawberry harvest in Germany this season is expected to be lower than it has been for a quarter of a century. The farms expect a result of around 84,700 tons outdoors, as reported by the Federal Statistical Office.

“That would be the lowest harvest since 1998,” it said. At that time it was 81,500 tons. This means that the harvest volume is expected to be 14 percent below the already low result of 2022 of 98,500 tons. For comparison: From 2017 to 2022, the average amount was 110,400 tons, 23 percent higher than the yield expected this time.

Increased costs and lower demand are probably the reasons

“One reason for this development is the decrease in productive acreage for outdoor strawberries,” the statisticians explained. These have decreased by seven percent to around 9,200 hectares. That is also the lowest value since 1998.

“The reduction in the relatively cost-intensive domestic strawberry production can be attributed, among other things, to increased production costs and the general price trend with falling demand for these precious fruits,” it said. In addition, the harvest started later than usual due to the relatively cool spring.

Regionally, the largest harvest of strawberries outdoors is expected in Lower Saxony with 22,800 tons. North Rhine-Westphalia follows with 19,100 tons and Baden-Württemberg with 13,000 tons.

Lowest quantity of asparagus since 2013

Meanwhile, the asparagus harvest is estimated at 105,700 tons. That would also be four percent less than 2022 and the lowest amount since 2013. Compared to the average from 2017 to 2022, that would mean 15 percent less asparagus. The productive acreage in the field also decreased by four percent to 20,500 hectares.

“For asparagus, too, falling demand may be the reason for the reduction in acreage and thus for the decline in harvest volume,” according to the Federal Statistical Office. In addition, reference is again made to the cool weather in spring.

Most of the asparagus was harvested in Lower Saxony with 23,200 tons, followed by North Rhine-Westphalia with 20,200 tons and Brandenburg with 18,100 tons.

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