Over half a million tonnes more cereals were produced on a 53 thousand hectares larger area in 2019 compared to 2018 according to preliminary data. Weather anomalies had a substantial impact on the harvest results of the different cereals. The harvested area of all major crops harvested in autumn – except for maize and lucerne hay – was, to a greater or lesser extent, smaller than in 2018.
The wheat production of 5.4 million tonnes was 2.1% larger than in 2018. This bread-grain was harvested from more than 1 million hectares per year in the last seven years except for 2017. The average yield rose by 3.1% and reached 5.3 tonnes/hectare. It was 2.4% higher, too, than the average of the previous five years.
Production and average yield of wheat by county, 2019*
The most wheat – nearly 10% of the national production – was produced in Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County in 2019. The highest average yields were reached in counties in Transdanubia. The average yield per hectare reached or exceeded 6.0 tonnes in Baranya, Vas, Somogy as well as Tolna Counties. The average yield was the lowest in two counties in Southern Great Plain, namely Békés and Csongrád.
2.6% less wheat was procured from producers in the first 11 months of 2019 than in the same period of 2018. The procurement price was 51 forints/kilogram, it has risen continuously since 2016.
The harvested area of maize rose above 1 million hectares again in 2019 (it was 1.03 million hectares), which was an increase of 9.4% over a year. 8.3 million tonnes of production was harvested, 3.7% more than in 2018 and 5.0% more than the average of the previous five years. The average of nearly 8.1 tonnes per hectare was a decrease of 5.2% compared to 2018 and a growth of 7.8% compared to the average of the last five years preceding 2019.
10% more maize was procured from producers in the first 11 months of 2019 than in the corresponding period of 2018. The procurement price was lower in 2019 than in the previous year, however, no significant change has occurred since 2014.
The yield of maize per hectare fluctuated markedly in the past ten years, mainly as a consequence of weather circumstances in the growing season. The yield of wheat has grown almost continuously since 2012, it has exceeded 5 tonnes every year since 2015.
The yield of sunflower per hectare beat a record in 2019, with an average of 3.0 tonnes/hectare. The harvested area was 50 thousand hectares (8.1%) smaller, however, as a result of the higher yield, the quantity of the harvested production was merely 7.0% lower than in the previous year.
The procurement price was around 100 forints/kilogram in the last three years, it was 101 forints/kilogram in January–November 2019.
Rape was harvested from an 8.8% smaller area in 2019 than a year earlier, from 302 thousand hectares, which value, however, was 14% larger than the average of 2014–2018. The harvested production was also considerably, nearly 11% lower than in 2018. The yield of slightly less than 3.0 tonnes/hectare was almost the same as in 2018 and was 5.2% lower than the average of 2014–2018.
The procurement price of rape was 116 forints/kilogram on average in Januay–November 2019, 7.6% higher than in the same period of 2018.
There were fluctuations in the average yield of sunflower and rape between 2010 and 2019, however, the yield was about 1 tonne larger per hectare in the case of both crops in 2019 than in 2010.
Out of the four arable crops with the largest values of production, the area of sunflower and rape slightly grew and that of maize was reduced compared to 2010. The area of wheat varied within narrow limits in the last ten years.
The abolition of sugar quotas in 2017 did not encourage, either, producers to farm larger areas, since the harvested area of sugar beet was further reduced in 2019. According to preliminary data, the 14 thousand hectares was a fall of 11% over a year and of 14% compared to the average of the preceding five years. As a result of a drought in September, producers harvested merely 821 thousand tonnes, 14% less than in the previous year. The average yield of sugar beet was 58.4 tonnes/hectare, 3.9% lower than in 2018 and 9.1% less than the average of the previous five years.
The area of potatoes harvested on arable land was further cut in 2019 (13.1 thousand hectares), it was 2.7% smaller than in the previous year and 22% smaller than the average of 2014–2018. The total production of 329 thousand tonnes was 0.4% larger than in the previous year, the yield per hectare increased to 23 tonnes in total.
8.5% less potatoes were procured from producers in the first 11 months of 2019 than in the corresponding period of 2018. The procurement price was almost continuously up, it was 117 forints/kilogram in January–November 2019.
The harvested production of apple and sour cherry, Hungary’s two fruit species with the largest areas, substantially decreased compared to the previous year. Merely 498 thousand tonnes of apple were harvested, 27% less than in 2018. The decline was not only due to weather reasons but also to domestic producers reaching a record harvest in 2018.
Farmers harvested 63 thousand tonnes of sour cherry in 2019, a quarter less than in the previous year, the least since 2012.
Half as many apples were procured from producers in the first 11 months of 2019 as in the corresponding period of 2018. As a consequence of the lower production, the procurement price of apples as a whole was 46 forints/kilogram, 75% higher than a year earlier but even so below that in 2017. In comparison, the corresponding increase was 11% in the case of fresh (dessert) apples.
The average procurement price of sour cherry strongly fluctuated in the past three years. The price was 56% lower in 2018 compared to 2017, then it rose more than two-fold from 2018 to 2019 (to 196 forints/kilogram).
Out of vegetables the harvested production of sweet corn, sown on a smaller area, was 487 thousand tonnes according to preliminary data, 5.4% less than in the previous year. The production of tomato was negatively influenced in the phase of development by the rather much precipitation and then the cool weather, so its harvested quantity fell by 15% to 181 thousand tonnes. The total harvested quantity of green pepper in 2019 (91 thousand tonnes) was 6.3% lower than in the previous year. 88 thousand tonnes of green peas were produced.
159 million tonnes of wheat were harvested in the European Union in 2019 according to preliminary data, 13% more than in the previous year. Out of the Member States the most wheat was produced in France, the quantity for which exceeded the total quantity for Germany and the United Kingdom, ranked second and third, respectively. Hungary’s wheat production accounted for 3.4% of the EU’s, our country was in the 9th place in the EU rankings. The average yield in 2019 was 9–10 tonnes/hectare in the Netherlands, Belgium and the United Kingdom, all engaged in intensive production, while it was around 5.0 tonnes/hectare in Hungary, similarly to the rest of the central European Member States.
68.4 million tonnes of maize were harvested in the European Union in 2019. 70% of this quantity was made up by five countries. The order of these countries was unchanged compared to the previous year, Romania produced the most, overtaking France and Hungary. Hungary produced 12% of the maize production in the EU.
In the production of sunflower there was hardly any change compared to 2015 in the five countries producing the most sunflower, except for Romania. Romania’s production increased continuously over four years, this country produced no less than almost twice as many sunflower seeds in 2019 as in 2015. The large growth was due not only to changes in the harvested area but also to the improving average yields. The highest average yields in the EU in 2019 (3.0 tonnes/hectare) were reached in Austria, Croatia and Hungary.
Hungary does not belong to key actors in potatoes production in Europe. Although potatoes were sown on the largest area, on 310 thousand hectares, in Poland, the average yield was lower there in 2019 (21.5 tonnes/hectare) than in western European countries (United Kingdom: 45.0 tonnes/hectare; the Netherlands: 42.4 tonnes/hectare; France: 41.1 tonnes/hectare; Germany: 38.4 tonnes/hectare). The largest potatoes producer in 2019 was Germany, with a production of 10.4 million tonnes, but French and Dutch farmers also produced more potatoes than Polish ones.
Average yield and production of potatoes in EU countries, 2019?
+ Preliminary data.
The habitat and climate needs of sugar beet are similar to those of potatoes, therefore, it is not surprising that the same five countries were at the fore-front of the production of the two crops. The harvested area of sugar beet was the largest in France and Germany, and the highest yields per hectare were achieved in western Europe (Spain: 95 tonnes/hectare). The harvested area of sugar beet was reduced in all the Member States apart from Poland compared to 2018.
Average yield and production of sugar beet in EU countries, 2019?
+ Preliminary data.
The Hungarian Central Statistical Office estimated the harvest results of the main crops in 2019 as follows:
- a full-scale compulsory survey was made of agricultural enterprises,
- in the case of private holdings estimates were made. The basis of estimation was sown area data recorded in the 2019 surveys titled Land area and sown area, 1 June 2019 and June survey of private holdings, 2019, and operative reports issued by the Ministry of Agriculture.