The gross agricultural production of Veneto in 2020 is worth 6.1 billion euros, an increase of 1.1% compared to 2019.
This was reported by the highly anticipated Veneto Agriculture Report published today, anticipated in recent days by a series of mini video-insights on the individual sectors published on the YouTube channel of the regional agency (https://bit.ly/2SmQQmz).
The change can be attributed almost exclusively to the increase in the quantities produced, in particular of herbaceous crops, while prices have had a more limited impact. In general, in fact, the value of production of farms is decreasing, negatively influenced by the drop in prices, in particular in the pig and milk sector, only partially offset by the stability of the quantities produced. Agriculture support activities (subcontracting, post-harvest activities, related services, etc.) were also down (-2.8%), heavily penalized by the lockdown and closures imposed by Covid-19, in particular the activity of arrangement and maintenance of green areas, as well as secondary activities (in particular related activities and agritourism). Intermediate consumption, i.e. goods and services consumed or processed by producers, recorded a slight decline (-0.2% on 2019) and consequently, the added value is increasing, with a growth of 2.2% .
Let's see in more detail the trend recorded by the various sectors of the primary Veneto, remembering that the complete Report can be downloaded from the following internet address: https://www.venetoagricoltura.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Rapporto- conjuncture-2020.pdf.
Viticulture and fruit
In Veneto, the vineyard area already in production in 2020 rose to 92,803 hectares (4% compared to 2019), from which 14,039,000 quintals of grapes were harvested, an amount higher than in 2019 (which had been 13,159 mln / q ). Of these 14 million quintals, 10 million (to be exact 9.936 million / q) are DOC and DOCG and about 3 million / q (2.921 million / q) IGT, confirming the very high quality now achieved by the Veneto vineyard. Total wine production was about 11 million hectoliters, with an increase of 7.2% compared to 2019. Veneto in 2020 confirms itself as the leader in Italy for wine exports, given that it alone is worth 36 approximately% of the total for the sector, equal to 2.24 billion euros (-3.3%).
Finally, the fresh fruit trees, which insist on 16,606 hectares (-3.8%), while that of the olive tree with its 5,150 hectares grows by 0.3%. The total quantity of fresh fruit harvested in 2020 was 400,890 tons (29.4%), including an apple production equal to 293,738 tons, or 67% of the sector. For fruit, a production value of approximately 297 million euros is estimated, with a marked increase of 23.6% compared to 2019.
First half 2021
What are the first signs coming from 2021? Let's see them in a nutshell.
The production of cereals and industrial crops are favored by a sharp rise in prices. Areas are reported to be decreasing for maize (145,000 hectares, -6%), growing for soft wheat (about 90,000, 6%) and above all soybeans (over 160,000, 19%).
The yields of vegetables (strawberries and asparagus) were disadvantaged by the spring climate, characterized by late frosts and sub-normal temperatures.
Fruits also suffered from the frosts of early April right in the flowering phase, with sharp reductions in production: all of them hurt a little, but especially pears, kiwis, peaches, nectarines, apricots, with estimates of losses even higher than 50%.
The latest forecast estimates for the wine sector indicate a possible 5/10% increase in the harvest, but regional exports down by -6.8% in the first three months of the year (ISTAT data).
Probable difficulties for farms due to the increase in raw material costs. The price of milk remains stable but still low even in the first months of 2021.
Certainly recovering the fourth range horticultural productions, agritourism and horticulture (private and public green accommodation services) and in general those productions and activities that in 2020 had particularly suffered due to the closures of the spring lockdown and at the end of 2020 for the orange / red zones imposed for the containment of the pandemic by Covid-19.
The Veneto dairy sector is also undergoing a delicate phase of restructuring and confirmation comes from a few numbers: the farms have dropped to about 3,000 units (-4% compared to 2019), of which about 1,500 own almost 90% of the animals. (there are about 150,000 cows that make up the Venetian herd). This means that small farms are disappearing, while large ones (with over 500 heads) are strengthening, even marking a growth of 12%. Farm-gate milk prices were also negative, which in 2020 marked -6.4% (-9% in Italy), for a total regional value of 429 million euros (-0.5%). On the other hand, the quantities of milk delivered to dairies and dairies increased, which in 2020 in Veneto reached the considerable figure of 1.2 million tons, marking a 2.4% compared to 2019 (in Italy 12.6 million tons t, 4.5%; in the EU 145 million t, 2.3%).
The Coronavirus lockdown has hit Horeca hard (hotels, restaurants, catering) and with it also the dairy products that find an important outlet in those channels. On the other hand, the forced closures due to Covid have increased the domestic consumption of cheeses, in particular of fresh cheeses (8.3%). Overall, as regards cheeses, imports (-10% in value; -13% in quantity) and exports (-2%; -1.5%) are down. Production numbers are good: Grana Padano cheese scores 1.7%; Asiago 11%; Montasio 48%; the Piave 17%; Monte Veronese 10%.
Cereals and industrial crops
Thanks to a particularly favorable climatic trend, the cereal sector and industrial crops recorded a generalized double-digit increase in production yields in Veneto. Record yields were recorded for maize (11.3 t / ha, 30.7%) and rapeseed (3.6 t / ha, 33.7%), with production recovering sharply despite the reduction in the areas invested. Overall, the value of cereal production rose to over 500 million euros (22.4%).
A positive year also for industrial crops, in particular for oil seeds: the hectares cultivated with soybeans grew (about 136 thousand hectares, 1.6%), as well as yields (3.7 t / ha, 9.4% ) and consequently the quantities produced (498,000 t, 11%). The average annual price also increased (12.8%). An excellent year also for sunflower, which saw an increase in investments (5,360 ha, 21.9%) and rapeseed (3,200 ha, 14.9%), which also recorded record yields. On the other hand, the areas cultivated with sugar beet (9,100 ha, -8.1%) and tobacco (3,900 ha, -6.9%) decreased, the production of which however increased to 630,800 t (5%) for beets and 13,400 t (15%) for tobacco by virtue of the net improvement in production yields, which rose to 69.4 t / ha (14.3%) and 3.4 t / ha (23.5%) respectively. Overall, the production value of industrial crops is estimated at around 239 million euros (16.5%).
As for the Veneto horticultural sector, it should be remembered that in 2020 the areas covered fell to about 27,250 hectares, down by -3.7% compared to 2019. Horticultural crops in the open air, which represent 75% of the vegetables grown in the our region, they amount to about 19,100 hectares (-5.2%), while greenhouse vegetables are estimated at about 4,100 hectares (-4.7%); tuber plants are on the increase (4,000 ha, 5.6%). The value of production at basic prices of potatoes and vegetables is estimated at around 695 million euros, a slight increase (1.8%) compared to the previous year: potatoes very well (94 million euros, 18.4% ); crops penalized by the lockdown and closures imposed to contain Covid-19, such as salads and lettuce (113 million euros, -17.7%), radicchio (54 million euros, -14.1%), strawberries (49 million euros, -18.8%), tomatoes (31 million euros, -12.3%).
Horticulturalism is bad, penalized by the spring closures, precisely in the period in which the peak of sales and activities is recorded: especially penalized the activity of arrangement services of green areas (parks and gardens), with production values estimated to decrease by about -10 / 12%. Active businesses remained stable (1,417), while the cultivated areas rose slightly (2,500 hectares, 1.6%).