The 2013 pear crop in the Netherlands exceeded the apple harvest for the first time in history, the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) said on Thursday.
Last year, a total of 327 million kilograms of pears were harvested compared to 314 million kilograms of apples. The pear crop was slightly smaller than in the record year 2011, when 336 million kilograms of pears were harvested, but the area was smaller at that time.
The large pear harvest in 2013 was attributable to the sharp rise in the pear acreage and the high yield per hectare. From 1947, the Dutch pear acreage slowly decreased from 13,900 to 5,000 hectares in 1989. From 1990, the acreage grew pear and the yield per hectare rose.
In 2012, the pear acreage of 8,169 hectares was bigger than the apple acreage (then 7,948 hectares) for the first time. In 2013, the pear acreage increased further to 8,509 hectares, while the area of apples continued to decline slightly to 7,906 hectares.
The main reason for the record harvest of 2011 was the ideal weather conditions in that year, with little frost. The Netherlands is a country favorable for growing pears due to the usually mild winters. Netherlands is the EU 's fourth largest pear producer. Only in Italy, Spain and Belgium the total pear harvest is usually larger, according to the CBS.