The total area of potatoes in Belgium decreased by 7,418 hectares in 2021, the Belgian statistical office Statbel reports.
In its final agricultural figures for 2021, the statistical office announces the decline of 7,418 hectares, meaning a decrease of the total area of potatoes in Belgium by 7.62 percent.
Clearing large stocks
Fewer potatoes were produced in order to clear the large stocks caused by the COVID-19 crisis, Statbel states. The decrease in percentage was slightly larger in Wallonia than in Flanders (-8.5 percent and -6.9 percent respectively). In terms of acreage, with a decline of some 3,700 hectares the reduction was the same in both areas.
Total agricultural area
In 2021, Belgium counted a total of 36,012 agricultural holdings, of which 64.5 precent can be found in Flanders. Some 54 percent of the total utilized agricultural area is located in Wallonia. The total agricultural area in Belgium amounts to 1,368,315 hectares, of which 34.8 percent consists of permanent grassland. Cereal crops occupy 22.7 percent of the agricultural area, feed crops 21.6 percent.
Statbel also reports that, due to the increasing demand for spelt and the good spelt price, the area for this crop reached a record level of 18,674 hectares (+23 percent) in Belgium in 2021. The surface area for winter wheat in the country increased by 6.3 percent or 11,155 hectares, almost reaching the 2019 level in 2021 after a sharp decline in 2020. Less spring cereals were sown (-5.5 percent spring wheat and -22.3 percent spring barley), and as a result of the disappointing yields for flax in 2020, less flax was sown in 2021 as well (-16 percent or -2,969 hectares). The area under glass and high cover in Belgium continues to rise and reached a total land area of 2,644 hectares (+6.9 percent) in 2021.
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