Farm and horticultural holdings

Final harvest estimate 2020

Agriculture & fishery
Final harvest estimate 2020

The year 2020 was mainly characterised by lower yields for almost all arable crops, according to the final harvest estimate 2020 of Statbel, the Belgian statistical office.

These yield decreases did not necessarily result in production decreases.

Due to the bad weather conditions in the autumn 2019, much less winter cereals were sown and more spring cereals were sown in the spring 2020. This resulted in a large production decrease for winter cereals, i.e. -10% for winter wheat, -19% for winter barley and -18% for triticale. In total, 260,500 tonnes less winter cereals were produced than in 2019.

More spring cereals were sown, so that despite the disappointing yields due to the spring drought, a production increase could still be recorded in 2020.

The production of grain maize decreased by 2% and that of green maize remained at the level of 2019. For both crops, there was an area increase combined with a yield decrease.

After a yield increase of 6% for sugar beet in 2019, a 4% decline was observed in 2020. The yield was therefore just slightly higher than the 84.3 tonnes/ha yield in 2018. As a result of a reduction in surface area, almost 288,000 tonnes less sugar beet were produced in 2020.

The total area of potatoes in Belgium fell by 1% compared to 2019. This combined with a lower yield, due to the drought in August 2020, gave a total production decrease of 2% or a decrease of almost 99,000 tonnes.

An area increase of 24% for fibre flax combined with a yield decrease of 30%, due to the spring drought, reduced Belgian production by 13% in 2020. The yield was 4.4 tonnes/ha and was significantly lower than the five-year average of 5.2 tonnes/ha.

Rapeseed was one of the few crops to show an increase in yield in 2020. However, production decreased by 10% due to a reduction in acreage compared to 2019.

Agricultural figures
Content

Agricultural data for 2020

Agricultural data for 2019

Agricultural data for 2018

Survey on certain species of fruit trees 2017

Agricultural data for 2017

Agricultural data for 2016

Agricultural data for 2015

Remarks:

The number of holdings in Belgium that produce for sales has increased by 0.7 %. This is due to more flexibility on the definition of active farmers in 2018, on the one hand, and to a further refinement of Statbel's agricultural register, on the other hand. This results in an increase of the agricultural area and in the number of bovine animals and pigs.

The large increase of the surface area for mixes of leguminous plants in Wallonia is due to the distinction made as of 2018 between mixes of cereals and leguminous plants, on the one hand (classified under other cereals) and mixes of leguminous plants and cereals, on the other hand (classified under mixes of leguminous plants). Until 2017, this division did not exist. The whole surface area was classified under other cereals. This also results in a decrease of the surface area for other cereals in Wallonia.

In 2018, there was a break in the trend for poultry. We can see a large increase. This is because until 2017, holdings did not have to report any poultry when farming was suspended for health reasons. They had to report the number of animals present on 15 October. If the poultry house was empty on that day, they had no animals. From 2018 onwards, holdings with empty poultry houses for health reasons (cleaning or disease outbreak) have to report the number of animals that were present before farming was suspended.

More figures...

 

Remarks:

The number of holdings in Belgium that produce for sales has increased by 0.7 %. This is due to more flexibility on the definition of active farmers in 2018, on the one hand, and to a further refinement of Statbel's agricultural register, on the other hand. This results in an increase of the agricultural area and in the number of bovine animals and pigs.

The large increase of the surface area for mixes of leguminous plants in Wallonia is due to the distinction made as of 2018 between mixes of cereals and leguminous plants, on the one hand (classified under other cereals) and mixes of leguminous plants and cereals, on the other hand (classified under mixes of leguminous plants). Until 2017, this division did not exist. The whole surface area was classified under other cereals. This also results in a decrease of the surface area for other cereals in Wallonia.

In 2018, there was a break in the trend for poultry. We can see a large increase. This is because until 2017, holdings did not have to report any poultry when farming was suspended for health reasons. They had to report the number of animals present on 15 October. If the poultry house was empty on that day, they had no animals. From 2018 onwards, holdings with empty poultry houses for health reasons (cleaning or disease outbreak) have to report the number of animals that were present before farming was suspended.