Germany Reports 4% Increase In Vegetable Harvests In 2023: Destatis

By Dayeeta Das
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Germany Reports 4% Increase In Vegetable Harvests In 2023: Destatis

Some 5,970 agricultural businesses in Germany harvested a total of 3.9 million tonnes of vegetables in 2023, registering a 4% increase in output compared to 2022, according to the latest data from Destatis.

The area under cultivation for vegetables in Germany reduced by 3%, to 122,800 hectares, compared to 2022 – or 4% less than the average for the years 2017 to 2022.

The data showed that organic produce accounted for 15% of the total vegetable cultivation area (18,400 hectares) and 12% of the total harvest (480,000 tonnes).

The area under organic cultivation increased by 3% in 2023, compared to the preceding year, and the associated harvest volume increased by 11%.

In terms of the average for the years 2017 to 2022, the organic cultivation area for vegetables increased by 15%, and harvest volume by 25%.


Destatis noted that the increased harvest was also due to an increase in the cultivation of vegetables with a high weight-per-unit area, such as beets, onions, zucchini/courgettes and carrots.

Harvest Highlights

Carrot production increased by 2% in 2023, accounting for the biggest harvest for vegetable growers in Germany, at 796,700 tonnes.

This was followed by onions, at 666,300 tonnes – up by 15%, compared to 2022.

White cabbage was the third most-harvested vegetable, at 398,500 tonnes, registering a 4% increase compared to 2022, despite the continued decline in cultivated area.


With a harvest volume of 193,700 tonnes and a 15% year-on-year increase, pickling cucumbers (gherkins) was fourth, while iceberg lettuce was fifth, at 121,200 tonnes.

In terms of cultivation areas in open fields, asparagus emerged on top, with almost 23,900 hectares, followed by onions, with 15,100 hectares, and carrots, with 13,500 hectares.

The cultivation areas for white cabbage and pumpkins were 5,300 hectares each, while bush/string beans occupied 4,400 hectares.

Lettuce, Pumpkin Cultivation

Last year, lettuce cultivation in Germany reached its lowest level since 2012, with a cultivated area of ​​12,600 hectares (down by 14%, compared to 2012) and a 29% decline in harvest, to 297,400 tonnes.


However, the harvest of romaine lettuce doubled, to 46,800 tonnes in 2023, from 22,300 tonnes in 2012.

The pumpkin harvest reached peak levels of 101,700 tonnes from an area of ​​5,300 hectares in 2023, registering a 47% increase from 2012’s harvest of 70,000 tonnes on an area of ​​2,600 hectares.

This figure corresponds to 4% of the total vegetable cultivation area and 3% of the total harvest in 2023, the data showed.

Other Highlights

Four federal states accounted for two thirds of the total open-air vegetable cultivation area in Germany.


In total, vegetables were grown outdoors on 121,500 hectares in 2023, or 3% less than that of 2022.

The largest open-air vegetable-growing areas were in North Rhine-Westphalia (26,200 hectares), Lower Saxony (22,000 hectares), Rhineland-Palatinate (16,900 hectares) and Bavaria (16,400 hectares).

The cultivation of vegetables in greenhouses or high foil covers remained almost constant in 2023, compared to the previous year, at just under 1,300 hectares (up by 0.3%).

However, the harvest volume increased by 5%, to 203,700 tonnes.

Tomatoes and cucumbers accounted for 83% of the harvest in greenhouses, the data showed.

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