Belgian apple and pear harvest forecast

This year apple production in the 28 countries of the European Union (EU) is estimated at 11,735,000 tonnes. The pear crop is estimated at 1,604,000 tonnes. The estimate for apples is 10% higher or one million tonnes more than last year's crop. For pears the estimate is 28% below last year's crop. The EU apple crop is therefore average and the pear crop small, the smallest in ten years. These figures were announced on August 5 during the online conference "PrognosFruit".

14% more Belgian apples this year

Belgium follows this European trend, although the differences in apple production are more prominent. To determine the harvest expectations of the fruit, an annual survey is conducted among 210 growers, spread across all Belgian provinces. This first estimate shows that, compared to last year, 14% more apples will be harvested in Belgium, 191,000 tonnes of apples compared to 168,000 tonnes last year. These higher yields are mainly due to the consequences of the low harvest last season, when a part was lost due to drought and sunburn. This year's harvest is still 11% lower than the five-year average. The apple-area fell further by 127 hectares to 5,348 hectares. Jonagold, Jonagored and Golden remain the most important varieties. "Here we do see a change in the assortment due to a strong tendency towards new varieties", says Luc Vanoirbeek of VBT.

Quarter less pears

The pear harvest in our country is estimated at around 295,000 tonnes or 25% less than last year and 15% less than the five-year average. "It is the first time in a long time that the pear area is declining (-208 ha to 10,450 ha)," Luc Vanoirbeek said. Belgium is Europe's third largest pear producer and is at the top of the pear trade in the EU. With an estimated 270,000 tonnes, Belgium accounts for 33% of the Conference volume.