European Onion Association 


Germany: Cultivation of summer sown onions has increased

(AMI) - Following a slight reduction in the previous year, the cultivation of summer sown onions in Germany was expanded somewhat in 2019. After the short crop 2018/19 this had to be expected. The survey carried out by Fachverband Deutsche Speisezwiebel e.V. in cooperation with AMI shows that about 7% more summer onion seed was sold in Germany for sowing in 2019 than in the previous season. It is likely that the area with summer onion crop has increased by the same amount. However, the volume of sold onion seeds did not reach a record level; it had already been higher in 2016. Winter sown onions and set onions are not included in this survey.

The official figures of the Federal Statistical Office do not always reflect these trends due to methodological changes, but the decrease of the previous year was also evident there. Including winter onions and set onions, the area was reduced by 3 % in 2018 according to the Federal Statistical Office.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, in 2018 exactly 1,504 farms cultivated a total of 11,368 ha of onions (dried onions without bunching onions, incl. shallots). The area of autumn sown onions was estimated at 250 ha, and the cultivation of set onions is assumed to remain unchanged at around 390 ha in 2018. This results in an area of more than 10,700 ha for summer sown onions in the previous year. For the 2019 harvest, after a 7 percent increase in cultivation, an area of summer sown onions of around 11,400 ha can be expected.

The strong increase in the cultivation of red summer onions over the last two years was now followed by a slight increase, the surface has been expanded at a below-average rate (+ 2 %) in 2019. This means that red varieties now account for just over 7 % of the summer sown onion area, compared with 8 % in the previous year. In comparison with our neighboring countries, the proportion of red varieties is very low; in the Netherlands in particular, cultivation is expected to have risen sharply this season to around 15%. Sales of organic seed, on the other hand, rose sharply again in 2019, by more than 20 %, and now account for a good 5 % of the summer onion area in Germany.

More important than the change in the area under cultivation, however, are the yields, as the past season has impressively shown. The development of the weather over the next four months will therefore ultimately determine the supply available. (Fachverband Deutsche Speisezwiebel e.V./AMI) (June 28, 2019)