THE CULTIVATION OF POT PLANTS IN THE NETHERLANDS
Area of floriculture in The Netherlands. - Table 1 shows the changes in the total area of floriculture under glass in The Netherlands and of pot plants in ha's, for 1960 unofficially. For the latter the percentage of total floriculture area has been added. The increase of floriculture under glass in the last 10 years is striking. The area devoted to pot plants did also increase, though not at the same rate. So, now pot plants are relatively of less importance than ten years ago.
Profitability. - What is the reason for this? Several reasons can be put forward, but the most important one is the difference in profitability between cut flowers and pot plants for many years in the past.
Table 2 gives the development in earning-capacity for all flower crops and for pot plants. These figures concern floricultural holdings at Aalsmeer and surroundings, surveyed by the Agricultural Economical Research Institute at The Hague. The profitability was better for cut flowers than for pot plants. Since 1969, however, the profitability is superior to that of cut flowers.
Another reason is, that in many instances the cultivation of pot plants is somewhat more complex than that of cut flowers.
Location of production. - Where are the centres of pot plant growing in The Netherlands? Table 3 indicates the area and number of holdings per province in 1970. The three most important provinces are Gelderland, in the East of the Netherlands, with Lent near Nijmegen as centre, Noord-Holland with Aalsmeer, and Zuid-Holland with the Westland as centres.
The structure of the production. - What is the structure of the pot plant production in The Netherlands? Table 4 shows the subdivision of the pot plant holdings according to size in 1969. Most nurseries, 78%, are in the group up to 1500 m2. So 22% of the nurseries are over 1500 m2, constituting 66% of the total production area.
Assortment. - The assortment of pot plants is large. As is known, crops may vary in importance during the years. In table 5 the ten most important pot plants delivered at the auction at Aalsmeer in 1970 are listed, with the respective importance up to 1950. It can be seen that large changes have taken place. Percentages per crop are given of the sale of the total pot plant assortment.