Netherlands Netherlands

Structure of agricultural production

The total area of agricultural land is nearly two million ha, which is just over half the total territory. Arable land accounts for 55%, and permanent pastures and meadows 43%.  The main arable crops are cereals, potatoes and sugar beet.

Table 1 Land use (ha) in 2007 (EUROSTAT).


Utilised agricultural area

1,914,330

100%

Arable land

1,059,230

55%

Cereals

222,530

12%

Common wheat and spelt

141,320

7%

Durum wheat

0

0%

Rye

2,850

0%

Barley

45,990

2%

Oats

1,700

0%

Grain maize

26,540

1%

Rice

0

0%

Other cereals

4,130

0%

Pulses - total

2,530

0%

Potatoes

157,170

8%

Sugar beet

82,030

4%

Fodder roots and brassicas

330

0%

Industrial plants

10,590

1%

Outdoor:Fresh vegetables, melons, strawberries

78,510

4%

Under glass:Fresh vegetables, melons, strawberries

4,570

0%

Outdoor:Flowers and ornemental plants

27,480

1%

Under glass:Flowers and ornemental plants

5,330

0%

Forage plants - total

423,130

22%

Seeds and seedlings

21,020

1%

Other crops

6,960

0%

Fallow land without subsidies

1,650

0%

Kitchen gardens

:

 

Total: Permanent grassland and meadow

820,700

43%

Permanent crops

34,390

2%

Other land

160,470

8%


There are 77,000 farms in the Netherlands, of which 17,000 holdings that grow cereals. Farms are generally larger than the average farm size in the European Union. The average livestock density is a factor three higher than the EU average.

Table 2 Structure of agricultural holdings (EUROSTAT).


GEO

EU27

 

NL

 

TIME/INDIC_AG

2007

 

2007

 

Number of holdings. 1 000

13,700

 

77

 

Number of holdings, agricultural area < 5 ha. 1 000

9,645

70%

21

28%

Number of holdings, agricultural area 5-<20 ha. 1 000

2,553

19%

23

30%

Number of holdings, agricultural area 20-<50 ha. 1 000

804

6%

21

27%

Number of holdings, agricultural area >= 50 ha. 1 000

698

5%

11

15%

Holdings with cereals. 1 000

7,154

 

17

 

Total labour force. 1 000 AWU

11,693

 

165

 

Family labour force. 1 000 pers

24,827

 

150

 

Holdings with another gainful activity than agricultural production (% all holdings)

10

 

19

 

Livestock density: livestock units/utilised agricultural area (LSU/UAA)

0.78

 

3.4

 

 

Climate

NOAA weather stations were selected with at 21 years of consecutive daily data. Wind speed was recalculated from 10 to 2 meter height: Wind speed at 2m = Wind speed at 10m * 0,718. Radiation was derived from NASA.

Table 3 Average weather for De Bilt weather station (1992-2012).


 

De Bilt

Average T-min (oC)

6.9

Average T-max (oC)

25.5

Annual precipitation (mm)

866


 

For wheat and barley, 3 weather stations were selected in one climate zone. With these selected stations a cover of around 90% was attained.

Table 4 Harvested areas (SPAM) per selected weather station, final shapes.


Climate zone

Weather station

Wheat (ha)

Barley (ha)

Wheat (%)

Barley (%)

3802

Groningen Eelde

44133

20917

36.0

35.8

3802

De Bilt

31507

15073

25.7

25.8

3802

Vlissingen

32651

15345

26.7

26.3


 

Soils

Soil data were extracted from the "European Soil Database v2 Raster Library" http://eusoils.jrc.ec.europa.eu/ESDB_Archive/ESDB_Data_Distribution/ESDB_data.html

The European Soil Database (ESDB) contains four discrete datasets:

  • the Soil Geographical Database of Eurasia at scale 1:1,000,000 (SGDBE)
  • the Pedotransfer Rules Database (PTRDB)
  • the Soil Profile Analytical Database of Europa (SPADBE)
  • the Database of Hydraulic Properties of European Soils (HYPRES)

 

Figure 8 Main soil types (WRB Level 1)

 

The soils in the Netherlands where cereals are grown are mainly marine clay soils, but also sandy soils. The soil database contains parameters on rooting depth and available soil moisture. Most areas in the Netherlands are affected by high ground water levels, with the exception of the south east.

Modeling potential and water-limited yields

Potential and water limited yields were simulated with the WOFOST crop model (http://www.wageningenur.nl/en/Expertise-Services/Research-Institutes/alterra/Facilities-Products/Software/WOFOST.htm ). Standard crop files are available for winter wheat, spring barley and grain maize. These are mainly based on Boons-Prins (1993), but have occasionally been updated following specific validation or calibration studies in the context of CGMS (e.g. ASEMARS studies; Wolf et al., 2008).

As a starting point, the existing crop files were used. Modifications were carried out on the basis of country-specific data, in two steps:

  • TSUM0, TSUM1 and TSUM 2, based on observed phenology
  • SPAN, SLATB and AMAXTB, based on the annually highest observed yields in variety experiments under non-limiting conditions (water, nutrients, crop protection)

Actual yields

The actual yield data were collected per NUTS-2 region from the Dutch Statistical office for the period 2008 – 2012 (http://statline.cbs.nl/StatWeb/publication/?VW=T&DM=SLNL&PA=7100OOGS&LA=NL). These yields were re-calculated per selected weather station buffer zone, using the harvested areas.

 

Table 5 Actual cereal yields (kg/ha) per selected weather station buffer zone at standard moisture content (2005-2009).


 

Winter wheat

Spring barley

De Bilt

8460

5686

Groningen Eelde

8111

6240

Vlissingen

8736

6427


 


 

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