Flemish farmers grow more wheat and barley

    According to this analysis, Flemish farmers sow more than twice as much spring wheat this year as last year (+116 percent), and more than half more spring barley (+57 percent). “The start of the Russian aggression towards Ukraine in February of this year and the accompanying sharp rise in the grain price is causing Flemish farmers to switch to summer grains,” the department said.

    The total acreage of cereals this year will remain the same as last year, because less winter wheat and spelled were sown due to “the wet conditions during the autumn of 2021”. Another crop that may be doing well under the influence of the war in Ukraine and its impact on the price is grain maize (+30 percent). Flemish farmers are also more interested in rapeseed (+20 percent). Here too there is talk of “favorable pricing.”

    Child of the bill are the vegetables. The provisional figures show that the cultivation of vegetables will take a big dip this year: -20 percent. This is not only due to farmers’ choice to grow more summer cereals and grain maize, it says, but also to “the sharply increased cultivation costs (seeds, fertilizers …) and the reduced demand from the vegetable processing industry”.

    Beans take the biggest blows

    The beans will take the biggest blows, with an expected halving of the acreage. “Bean cultivation is very sensitive to drought or excessive rainfall, which has often been a problem in the summer in recent years,” says the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. The area of ​​beans had already decreased last year. Within vegetables, there are also significant decreases in carrots (-30 percent) and spinach (-29 percent). The acreage on onions is falling (-16 percent) for the first time in ten years. And Brussels sprouts are less popular with farmers (-22 percent), because the demand for Belgian Brussels sprouts in the United States has fallen sharply due to the sharp rise in container costs for overseas transport.

    Fruit

    In the fruit sector, the decrease in the acreage of strawberries is striking (-8 percent). The acreage of apples decreases slightly again (-2 percent), while the pears remain status quo. Finally, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries points out that the acreage of potatoes has increased again (+2.6 percent). It had fallen last year because the demand for processed potato products was lower during the corona crisis. People went out to eat less, so that fewer fries, croquettes and puree were consumed.

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