The production of yellow onions experienced a sharp increase the previous year, which is something that often leads to a significant decrease in the cultivated area for the following season. However, although this is generally the rule, uncertainty due to the war in Ukraine and the rise in costs will impact the current German campaign.
Onion production in Germany has been experiencing a consolidated increase over the last decade, with an outstanding rise in the 2021 campaign. Last year, for example, the onion-growing surface area increased by 18%, amounting to around 2,200 hectares more compared to the previous year. Throughout the country, 14,500 hectares were cultivated. Ten years ago, the cultivated area was 9,400 ha.
As a result of this increase in volume, the evolution of prices was disappointing for producers in a European market that was also well supplied. There are now promising alternatives in the crop once again.
The annual survey regarding the sale of seeds, carried out by AMI in cooperation with Fachverband Deutsche Speisezwiebel e.V., confirms that the yellow onion cultivation area will continue to decrease; on the contrary, bio and red onions are still expanding.
The change to red and organic onion production is the result of what happened in the 2021/22 season. Demand was stronger in the spring, a time when markets are more receptive.
However, it should be noted that the development of cultivated areas is not an indication of potential harvest volumes, as we have seen in recent campaigns.
At the moment, the cultivation conditions in the first part of the season have been suitable. However, depending on the region, the soil is becoming very dry again, requiring intensive irrigation regionally. In any case, and with climate change taking effect, there are many possibilities that may result in a correct campaign.