Swiss agriculture 2021 - extreme year ensures historically low harvests


12/23/2021 - (Source © - Written by the agricultural information service LID Editing and texts: Renate Hodel and Jonas Ingold

The extreme year ensures historically low harvests

Summary. The weather left nothing out in 2021. Late frost, a lot of precipitation with floods and massive hailstorms had a massive impact on the harvest in many places. Still - autumn saved one or the other.

Some summer fruits were hit extremely badly by the weather. For plums, only 40 percent of the five-year average could be harvested, for apricots only 35 percent. Things went better with the berries - also because many of them are protected by foil tunnels.

Hardly any cider pears

For apples, the balance varied depending on the variety, but very few cider apples were harvested. The last time such a bad harvest was achieved in the cider pears was in 1993.

Frost nights, storms with floods and hail also affected the vegetable harvest. Normally, lettuce does not have to be imported in summer, this year the extreme year ensures historically low harvests. In July and August, around half of the goods were temporarily missing. In the autumn the situation improved somewhat. However, the situation will keep the vegetable industry busy until next year, as stored vegetables are also affected.

Less disease pressure in beets

In the case of potatoes, the harvest of conventional goods is estimated to be around 30 percent below the five-year average, and in the case of organic goods, around half. But the quality of the harvested potatoes is right. The sugar factories were also underutilized because of the rather low harvest, but the beet harvest turned out better than feared. In addition, the disease pressure in the beets was lower than in other years.

The bread grain harvest is around 30 percent lower than in the previous year and the demand for Swiss goods cannot be met for rapeseed.

In viticulture it looks different depending on the canton. While the harvest in Valais is only half as high as normal, Graubünden is only just below the average. The quality of the wines is likely to be very good.

The forest, on the other hand, was happy about the heavy rainfall and was finally able to recover a little after the dry previous years.

Historically little honey

Historisch wenig Honig

There were also crop failures with animal products, so the spring harvest of honey fell almost completely into the water and the summer harvest could not make up for it either. Hardly any beekeeper can remember so little yield.

In the case of pigs, production increased in the second half of the year. The prices are at the same level as 50 years ago. Pig farmers, however, are optimistic about the future due to their focus on quality meat.

Egg production was again at a high level this year. Demand picked up around the holidays, but the warehouses were still well filled in November.

The demand for Swiss poultry, which continues to boom, continues unabated. Production has also increased this year.

The year 2021 was overall positive for the Swiss dairy industry. The milk volume shows a slight downward trend towards the end of the year, but with good demand. While dairy products lost some ground in 2021, cheese production increased somewhat. It is important to take the momentum and the good market situation with you into the new year.

The weather The year was marked by a lot of wetness

According to the Federal Office for Meteorology and Climatology in Switzerland, the winter of 2020/2021 was sometimes very rainy. Most areas received extensive rainfall, especially the southern side of the Alps, where winter was also extremely poor in sunshine. In January, Eastern Switzerland also recorded one of the strongest new snowfalls since measurements began, locally even with record amounts.

In May, too, after the two months of low precipitation in March and April, there was plenty of rain for most areas of Switzerland - with the exception of the southern side of the Alps. This registered regionally the fourth or fifth sunniest spring of the last 60 years. In addition, Switzerland experienced the coldest spring in over 30 years. The months of April and May in particular were cold.

The summer of 2021 was one of the wettest north of the Alps since measurements began. In the Central Alps, it was locally even the wettest summer in the more than 100-year-old records. The year was characterized by a lot of wetness. The persistently large amounts of rain left out towards mid-July north of the Alpser which several rivers and lakes burst their banks.

In autumn the weather calmed down a bit and with around 20 sunny days, September in Switzerland turned out to be a wonderful month of fine weather. In some areas, one of the sunniest September was recorded in the last 60 years and locally one of the mildest September since measurements began.

After the sunny September, October also presented itself as a sunny and largely dry autumn month in Switzerland. Both September and October recorded widespread below-average rainfall: in September there was not even a third of the precipitation of the September average and in October there was less than half of the precipitation of the October average in the north and in the Alps.

Plants Difficult season for summer fruits

Damage in the millions

According to the Swiss Fruit Association (SOV), the summer fruit season literally fell into the water: While spring frost and summer hail caused considerable damage to fruit crops, at least the berry cultivation was able to defy the weather.

The cold spring with numerous nights of frost, the rainy summer and the storms with hail damage have led to a sobering result. While the cherry harvest was still respectable at around 1,500 tons and thus 72 percent of the five-year average, the picture for plums and apricots was different: the yields for plums were only 40 percent at 1,300 tons and for apricots at 2 " 200 tons even only 35 percent of the five-year average. And the storms not only damaged the fruit and trees, but also entire infrastructures. This has resulted in damage in the tens of millions.

Weather slows berry boom

Meanwhile, the situation with the berries looked more encouraging. For strawberries with a good 7,000 tons, raspberries with almost 2,150 tons, blackberries with 530 tons and blueberries and cranberries with 565 tons, the harvest corresponded to the average of the last five years. This is also thanks to modern cultivation methods: a large part of the berry cultures in Switzerland is grown under plastic tunnels.

However, the weather has slowed the small boom in raspberries and blackberries: Both the harvest quantities of raspberries and blackberries have increased steadily in recent years and climbed, for example, from 1'525 tons of raspberries in 2016 to 2'255 tons in 2020. In July, the SOV was still expecting a domestic harvest of 2,300 tons of raspberries - a further increase of 50 tons.

This value was missed during the harvest season and the harvest fell around 100 tons behind last year's. Difficult season for summer fruits

The same picture emerged for the blackberries, whose harvest volumes rose by 280 tons to 663 tons in the last five years by 2020. Here, too, this year's harvest, at minus 130 tons, was lower than last year.

Apples defy bad weather - pears less so

In the case of pome fruit, the apple cultures survived the bad weather conditions relatively well. With around 120,000 tonnes of table apples, the yield was almost the same as in 2020. According to SOV, however, there were differences depending on the variety: The most popular varieties Gala, Golden Delicious and Braeburn recorded an increase in yield - Boskoop, Idared, Milwa and Elstar as well However, Gravensteiner had a significantly smaller harvest because these crops were more affected by frost and alternation.

The table pears lost more harvests. The yield of a good 18,500 tons means a decrease of around 20 percent compared to the previous year. The density of the pears was consistently lower than in the previous year, the harvest of the 8/30 Williams variety was particularly poor - with slightly more than 2,400 tons, over 40 percent fewer Williams pears were harvested than in 2020.

Extremely deep cider fruit

A total of 3,800 tons of cider pears and 42,250 tons of cider apples were delivered to the Swiss cider factories and processed - not even half of last year's harvest. In addition, a similarly small harvest was last achieved in 1993 for cider pears. In return, a good quality harvest could be brought in despite the challenging weather conditions.

Despite extensive market relief measures, the cider factories had stocks this year before the harvest that would cover the needs of more than a year. The sometimes difficult sales situation caused by the Covid 19 pandemic also contributed to this. According to SOV, the deep harvest in 2021 will lead to a relief of stocks.

Exceptional situation with vegetables

The storms in summer resulted in a difficult and unusual season for vegetable producers. In April there were nights of frost and in June there were storms with devastating hailstorms and also floods.

All of this affected vegetable production in 2021. Some of the producers were no longer able to meet demand. Some even suffered total failures. "Some types of vegetables were hit worse than others, for example the situation with the salads was exceptional," explains Markus Waber, deputy director of the Association of Swiss Vegetable Producers (VSGP). Normally, salads would not have to be imported in summer. "This year, however, around half of the goods were temporarily missing in July and August," he adds. The situation recovered somewhat towards autumn thanks to new plantings and better weather.

In addition to lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, courgette and fennel were also badly affected by the weather. Accordingly, imports were higher than in a normal year.

Although there was no rain in the greenhouse, there was a lack of sun and thus of light, and this also resulted in lower harvests than usual. "In midsummer, an estimated 10 to 20 percent of the usual quantities were missing across the entire range of vegetables," summarizes Markus Waber.

To be felt for a long time

The effects can also be felt with stored vegetables such as carrots or onions, where it is estimated that between 25 and 30 percent less can be stored. The situation will therefore occupy the industry well into next year: "That means that in spring we will have to add imported goods earlier and to a greater extent than usual," says Markus Waber.

Wine: top quality and historically low yields

Like other industries, the weather was a problem for wine. Frosty nights in April caused the shoots to freeze and in summer hail destroyed some crops. The grapes did not like the cool, wet weather in summer either, the fungal disease powdery mildew caused major problems. Only in autumn did the weather improve for the grapes.

It was a year that could hardly be surpassed in terms of negative headlines, according to the winegrower information for German-speaking Switzerland. In most of the cantons there were significant declines in harvest volumes, some well below the 10-year average, for example in Schaffhausen, Aargau and Bern. In Lucerne there is talk of the smallest harvest of all time. A different picture emerges in the canton of Graubünden: there the harvest is only slightly below the long-term average, made possible by the optimal conditions during the Wimmet, among other things. In Valais, however, things are not looking good again. The industry association for Valais wines assumes that the yields are only half as high as in a normal year. The winemakers did not remember ever having achieved such low yields. Frost, powdery mildew and hail made sure of that. But the grapes that have survived the year are of the best quality.

In the canton of Vaud, the wine year was an ups and downs - but in the end the harvest turned out better than feared. Here too, powdery mildew and hail caused damage. Overall, the Vaudois grape harvest was lower than usual, according to the Office des Vins Vaudois. Correspondingly, the Communauté Interprofessional du Vin Vaudois (CIVV) is assuming a harvest of 19.8 million liters that is almost 16 percent lower than in the previous year. Thanks to the good autumn weather with sunny days and cool nights, the quality is very good.

Potatoes suffered from wetness

Potatoes suffered greatly from the weather in 2021. It started well, the planting took place under good weather conditions. In the case of the new potatoes, the cool weather and frost delayed growth.

Then came the extreme weather situations with floods and hail. In particular, the large amount of water caused problems for the tubers in some regions. The potatoes are small this year, so the yields are lower than usual. After all, the quality of the potatoes that could be harvested is right.

Exact harvest quantities are currently missing, as no yield surveys were carried out in 2021 due to the exceptional weather in August. However, the industry organization Swisspatat carries out a monthly survey of potato stocks. According to Christian Bucher, Managing Director of Swisspatat, according to these data, the 2021 harvest for conventional potatoes is likely to be around 30 percent below the five-year average, while for organic potatoes around half of the cut of recent years could be harvested.

Sugar factories are underutilized

The sugar harvest is around 210,000 tons of sugarr turned out below average, but not as bad as initially feared given the difficult conditions for arable crops.

Nevertheless, both the sugar factory in Aarberg and the sugar factory in Frauenfeld could process more sugar beet and thus increase the level of self-sufficiency. Around 320,000 tonnes of sugar are used in Switzerland every year - Schweizer Zucker AG can cover around two thirds of this. Over 80 percent of the processed beets come from Swiss cultivation, 82 percent of which are grown according to ecological performance certification, 17 percent according to IP-Suisse specifications and 1 percent organically. The rest is covered by imports of beet from Germany, but also with finished sugar mainly from the EU.

This year's sowing of the sugar beet was still normal, but the cold nights of frost in the spring affected the still young plants and in July the sugar factories were underutilized, wetness led to a halt in growth and in some cases even to total failures due to flooded fields, explains Guido Stäger, CEO of Schweizer Zucker AG. “The weather wasn't consistently bad for the beets - compared to previous years with severe drought, this year was a bit more balanced, but still too wet in practically all regions,” said Stäger.

As a result, the wetness had a strong impact on the yield and the sugar content. The beautiful autumn was able to compensate for a lot, especially the sugar content increased. Compared to the often healthy and strong cabbage, only moderately sized beets could be dug up during the harvest. After all, beet planters had less to contend with this year with viral yellowing or the Basses Richesses syndrome (SBR) - the disease pressure in sugar beet was generally less pronounced than in other years.

Beet growers are wanted

The number of beet producers has suffered in recent years. In 2021 there were just under 4,000 Swiss beet planters - almost 300 fewer than in the previous year. This also affects the productivity of the factory: “We need more beets again,” Guido Stäger appeals to the farmers. Schweizer Zucker AG is doing a lot to convince Swiss agriculture to grow sugar beet again. The political framework that has now been secured again until 2026 would help, as they guarantee great planning security and it is also financially worthwhile to plant beets again. In addition, the compatibility of sustainable and ecological and yet economical sugar beet cultivation remains a challenge. In contrast to the EU, the ban on the insecticide "Gaucho" for seed treatment remains in place in Switzerland.

Of course, the “Gaucho” seed dressing was a very effective means - but now it is important to look ahead and find alternative solutions for tackling viral yellowing with more ecological measures, says Guido Stäger: “Research is in full swing and we are are optimistic - we all want environmentally friendly pesticides, but the sugar industry must also be able to work economically.

A third less bread grain

Brot und Backwaren der Schweiz

This year's grain harvest was characterized by low yields and low harvest volumes. Losses were recorded for all crops. Bread wheat with minus 30 percent, as well as spelled with minus 24 percent and rye even with minus 55 percent, had significantly lower harvests this year than last year, according to the industry organization for grain, oilseeds and protein crops Swiss Granum.

Overall, this year's harvest resulted in a baked bread grain quantity of 304' 079 tons - over 110'000 tons less than in 2020. Due to the weather, the average yields were low for all crops and bread wheat, spelled and rye were in some cases heavily affected by sprouts. The quantity of bread grain that cannot be baked in the amount of around 95,000 tonnes can, however, be marketed in the feed sector.

Low average yields were also recorded for feed grains. For barley, the harvest was a good 20,000 tonnes lower than last year, for triticale 9,000 tonnes less harvest and for grain maize, 97,660 tonnes, not even half of last year's yield. Stephan Scheuner, director of Swiss Granum, explains: “On the one hand, you are certainr the weather with the hailstorms and generally low yields responsible for the low harvest volume. On the other hand, a quarter of this year's harvest went into silage maize and this amount is now missing from grain maize. "

In total, there was a feed grain harvest of almost 523,000 tons - over 30,000 tons less than last year, including non-bakeable bread grain.

Oil seeds: Demand for rapeseed not met

Schweizer Raps

Oilseeds are also producing smaller harvests this year: In the case of rapeseed, the effects of the weather and, in addition, the increased pest pressure are noticeable in a lower harvest volume. The framework agreement for contract production would have guaranteed the Swiss producers a purchase of 106,000 tonnes this year. Across Switzerland, however, only 77,073 tonnes of rapeseed were harvested this year - around 12 percent less than in the previous year and a difference of around 30,000 tonnes on the guaranteed purchase volume. This harvest volume cannot meet the demand for domestic rapeseed.

The provisional sunflower harvest of 11,142 tons is only slightly below the previous year - however, oilseeds: Demand for rapeseed not met this year, 300 hectares more sunflowers were grown, which significantly worsened the balance sheet. In addition, last year's harvest lagged behind the 2019 harvest, so sunflower production continued to suffer.

At 5,318 tons, this year's soy harvest is one of the few crops that does not fall short of the previous year's harvest. Around 300 tonnes more soy were harvested, but here too the figures have to be put into perspective, because soy production also recorded an increase in area. Soy was grown on a good 200 hectares more - compared to the previous year, losses were also recorded here. However, soy has apparently suffered less from the adverse circumstances than other crops

A turbulent year for the Swiss forest

Schweizer Wald bei agroswiss

Thanks to the heavy rainfall at the beginning of the year, the Swiss forest was able to recover from the two record-dry summers in 2018 and 2019, which resulted in large amounts of damaged wood. Wood products for construction have achieved record prices, in some cases their price has increased up to fourfold within a few months.

In the Swiss forest, however, these price increases have hardly reached any noticeable extent. The price of wood from Swiss forests was at an all-time low by mid-2021. More than half of Swiss forest companies ran deficits in 2020. That is why WaldSchweiz demanded in April that the price of wood should rise by at least a third across all product ranges. The message has arrived - prices have recovered slightly towards the end of the year. In addition, Daniel Fässler, President of WaldSchweiz, submitted a parliamentary initiative to the Council of States entitled “Recommended prices for wood from Swiss forests”. This is to ensure that target prices can be issued for Swiss wood in the future. That should help to finally achieve fair prices again for the valuable and local raw material from the Swiss forest. Text: Florian Landolt, WaldSchweiz

The animals

Milk with a good market situation to be preserved

According to the Association of Swiss Milk Producers (SMP), the year 2021 was positive for the Swiss dairy industry in Switzerland, but it also required a lot of flexibility. The milk volume practically stagnated up to October at plus 0.3 percent with a downward trend and with good demand. The coronavirus-related, high demand in the retail trade in 2020 has normalized, but is currently still above the values of 2019.

The decline in dairy products of around 3 percent was compensated for in other areas. Cheese production rose 1.7 percent from January to October. This enabled cheese exports, which grew by 8.2 percent, to be achieved in the same period, and the import pressure, which had also grown by 5.9 percent, was cushioned somewhat.

Butter production at an all-time low In 2020, butter production - also due to the coronavirus - was at an all-time low. This is likely to be 3 to 4 percent lower in the current year 2021, mainly due to the development in the fourth quarter als 2020. However, due to the early import approval for other brands, there was always enough Swiss butter available to supply the Swissness brands “Floralp” and “Die Butter” without any gaps. In total, around 3,200 tons of butter imports were necessary.

This market trend, supported by a poor feed situation due to the weather, meant that Swiss milk was a sought-after commodity in 2021. The dairy milk price in Switzerland was raised by around 4 cents, and that for cheese milk by an average of just under 3 cents. The A and B target prices for dairy milk were also increased by 2 cents to 73 cents and 2.4 cents, respectively, in the course of the year. According to SMP, the development also shows that the bid to introduce the “green carpet” on September 1, 2019 has now left a lasting mark on the market.

Trend towards more sustainable milk

In 2021, we continued to work hard to position Swiss milk in the market. On the one hand, an awareness-raising campaign on the sustainability of Swiss milk was launched and, on the other hand, work was continued to motivate other milk producers to take part in the industry standard for sustainable Swiss milk, the “green carpet”. Today around 11,500 producers meet the standard, which represents 85 percent of Swiss dairy milk and a good 20 percent of cheese milk. The trend continues, especially with cheese dairy milk. The standard is an important distinguishing feature for Swiss milk and dairy products compared to foreign competition.

Swiss milk will remain a scarce commodity in 2022 as well. Worldwide, market experts expect demand for milk and dairy products to increase by more than 20 percent over the next 10 years - with stagnating milk volumes. These good conditions must also be used in Switzerland in order to achieve further economic improvements.

The situation abroad

Of the five most important milk-exporting countries in the world - New Zealand, USA, Australia, Argentina and Europe - only Argentina shows growth in milk production in the current year. At the same time, with continued strong demand from Asia, the prices for milk powder, butter and cheese rose to a record high on the world market towards the end of 2021.

Similar trends were also evident in Europe in 2021. For example, milk production in Germany has fallen to its lowest level since 2017, at minus 1.5 percent. The good situation on the world market has also spurred the EU milk markets for butter, cheese and milk powder. Against this background, producer prices in the EU have cracked the magic limit of 40 euro cents.

Challenging alpine season

Alpwirtschaft in der Schweiz

The alpine season 2021 was characterized by a late alpine upwelling and cool-wet weather conditions, which led to lower feed, milk and cheese yields in most regions. The many rainy days required a lot of stamina and good pasture management from the alpine people, says Andrea Koch, managing director of the Swiss Alpine Association (SAV).

This year it became clear what the biggest medium-term problem for alpine farming is: the wolf. The situation has worsened again: herd protection measures are increasingly being circumvented and the number of calves and cattle killed has increased dramatically. «The current system of herd protection and regulation does not do justice to this situation in any way. Alpine farmers and pet owners feel frustrated, powerless and at a loss, ”says Koch. Rapid adaptation of the Hunting Act is therefore an absolute priority for the SAV.

Pig: prices like 50 years ago

Schweizer Fleisch

The price increase in the last 50 years has been 270 percent, but the pig prices from the farm have remained unchanged despite the increased costs. The well-trained pig farmers would look forward to the coming years with the increasing protein demand for the growing population, the high quality and with passionate commitment, emphasizes Adrian Schütz from Suisseporcs, the Swiss Association of Pig Breeding and Pig Producers.

"The balance of daily needs on the plate and the naturally long-term piglet production is challenging," says Schütz. In the event of an undersupplyg Switzerland loses added value and animal welfare as a whole due to the displacement with imports. With the current increase in the amount of pork in the second half of the year, however, the income from daily stable work has unfortunately been lost. «This means that the necessary investments can no longer be made. In the pig cycle, experience shows that the backlash lasts two years or more, ”says Schütz.

Pig farmers in Switzerland have small, rural structures. Consumers have a wide selection of Swiss meat from additional animal welfare, ecological and agricultural programs. According to Adrian Schütz, around 60 percent of the total range meet extended label requirements. However, only half of it is bought with added value, the organic share is less than 2 percent. “The factory farming initiative in particular would have serious effects on farms with farm animals. Something is required that is not bought. All of them would then have to meet the organic standard in terms of keeping conditions, which would make keeping and thus consumer prices extremely expensive and radically restrict the range », says Schütz.

The awareness of closed cycles, regional offers and needs-based nutrition for people and animals is increasing. A postulate recently adopted by Parliament mandates the Federal Council to develop a comprehensive nutrition policy. This should involve all levels and make their contribution to improving sustainability in eating. The local agriculture should be able to keep its market share. Adrian Schütz is convinced that Swiss pigs play a key role as by-product users and with additional benefits for biogas, humus build-up and valuable substances for soil fertility.

The industry is also focusing on animal health: the pig keepers implemented the Plus health program in April 2021, successfully introduced the electronic treatment journal and thus created transparency. That is unique, said Schütz.

Pig semen as an export hit

The export success of pig semen shows that Swiss pig breeding is moving in the right direction. At the beginning of March, the Suisag breeding company exported fresh semen to Africa for the first time. American immigrants want to use Swiss genetics to set up professional pig production. Only a little later, the Suisag announced the collaboration with the Belgian breeding association VPF. And at the beginning of November, Suisag founded a subsidiary that looks after the German, Belgian and Dutch markets.

Egg production increases again significantly

Schweizer Eier legen zu

Egg production started the new year at a high level, although the beginning of the year was still characterized by herd changes as usual: so that there were enough Swiss eggs on the shelf for Easter, the herd changes are planned in advance so that the existing stable capacities are optimally used in March be able. The demand for eggs also remained increased due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the accompanying measures, and the production of organic eggs was not always sufficient to meet the above-average demand. On the other hand, demand in out-of-home consumption for egg products was at a lower level, so that the supply in this area could be ensured without any problems.

Despite the significantly increased domestic egg production, around 2,000 tonnes more consumer eggs were imported in the spring than in the same period two years earlier - in the pre-coronavirus year 2019.

After Easter, demand then fell more sharply than expected and not all table eggs were accepted from the market, which led to a slight overproduction.

57 million more eggs

With the easing of the pandemic measures, consumption shifted more outside the home again, but the catering establishments and the food service were still ordering cautiously. In addition, the number of laying hens continued to rise, so that 5.2 percent more Swiss eggs had been laid by the end of July. Accordingly, significantly fewer shell and processing eggs were imported.

Because demand remained at a below-average level in summer - the summer slump was larger than expected and demand lower than in the pre-coronavirus year 2019. With the cool weather, the demand for eggs rose only slowly and remained low in autumn. Accordingly, the stocks could only be reduced slowly. Due to the high summer stocks and the lowDemand from Swiss processing eggs, these had to be traded at import egg prices. On the other hand, the import of processing eggs was significantly lower: 901 tons less than in 2020 and 1,761 tons less than in 2019. Nevertheless, the industry applied for an additional quota of eggs for consumption. Since around 2,000 tonnes more eggs were imported in the spring due to the pandemic, it was feared that this amount might be missing at the end of the year. At the end of November, 602 tons more table eggs were imported than in 2020 and 216 tons more table eggs than in 2019. However, since the beginning of June fewer eggs have been imported overall than in the previous year.

Swiss egg production remained at a high level towards the winter. The number of laying hens continued to increase, so that by the end of October almost 57 million more Swiss eggs had been laid compared to the same period in the previous year - by the end of October there were a total of around 950 million eggs. Although the demand for eggs in the retail trade picked up again, partly due to the upcoming baking time, demand continued to recover only slowly from the summer low - accordingly, the stores were still full in November. Finally, according to Aviforum estimates, domestic production in 2021 was 7.7 percent higher than in the previous year. That means 81.7 million eggs more than in the previous year. In total, around 3.5 million hens laid 1,145 million eggs in 2021. Organic egg production made an above-average contribution to this growth. Last year it grew by over 11 percent to 219 million eggs.

Beef production somewhat declining

From January to October 2021, beef production in Switzerland based on slaughter volume was 0.7 percent below the previous year's figure, as figures from Agristat show. For veal, the decline was more pronounced at 5.1 percent. On the other hand, according to the branch organization Proviande, the calves between January and October were on average slightly heavier than in the same period of the previous year.

According to Agristat, prices for muni, oxen and cattle remained at a high level in November. The prices for calves for slaughter are also at a high level.

Unbroken demand for Swiss poultry meat

The strong upswing in poultry farming that has been observed since 2006 will continue in 2021 and this year is expected to increase production value by around 5 percent to CHF 0.7 billion.

In 2020 the total chicken production was 103,865 tons. Compared to the same period last year, however, according to Agristat, 3.5 percent more domestic poultry was slaughtered and processed from January to October of this year. The chick hatches reported by the end of October show an increase of 6 percent compared to the same period of the previous year. According to the Swiss poultry producers, however, the hatches are not very meaningful for a prognosis, as it is not possible to foresee in advance the weight with which the chickens will be slaughtered. However, the figures show that consumers will continue to be happy to buy Swiss poultry in 2021.

Historically little honey

This year's bad weather also significantly reduced the honey harvest of Swiss beekeepers: an average of 7.2 kilograms of honey per colony in 2021 - this year's honey harvest is 75 percent smaller than last year and the honey on sale is also more expensive due to the shortage become. According to the umbrella organization of the Swiss beekeeping associations, Apisuisse, very few beekeepers in Switzerland can remember such an unusually bad harvest as this year.

After last year's record harvest of up to 40 kilograms per bee colony in some cantons, the year 2021 showed a completely different side: Due to the too cold and wet spring, the spring honey harvest was already meager and the quantities of summer honey suffered greatly from the Weather with a lot of rain, hailstorms and floods. As a result, the bees could not fly out to collect nectar and pollinate the meadow flowers and fruit trees. The bees even had to be fed regionally, otherwise they would have starved to death.

Throughout Switzerland, the spring honey harvest averaged just 1.9 kilograms per colony - in the previous year it was an average of 11.2 kilograms per colony. The bad weather prevented a decent forest dress in summer, but short phases of calming weather helped the bees to tap into special nectar sources such as linden blossoms and late blackberry blossoms. As a result, there was an average Swiss-wide summer honey harvest of 5.3 kilograms per colony, which was nevertheless significantly lower than the 18.7 kilograms harvested in the previous year. Only the canton of Ticino stayed in the costume months from SchlReal weather largely spared and was able to achieve a total of 25.9 kilograms of honey per colony despite a decrease compared to the previous year. More than twice as much as the “best” cantons north of the Alps. Historically little honey

Sources and further information

Agristat, Agroscope, Apisuisse, branch organization, Federal Office for Agriculture, Federal Statistical Office, www.bfs. Federal Customs Administration, GalloSuisse, MeteoSchweiz , Swiss Farmers' Association, Swiss milk producers, Swiss poultry producers, www. Swiss Fruit Association, Schweizer Zucker AG, Swiss Alpine Association SAV, Swiss Granum, Swisspatat, Swiss Wine Promotion , Association of Swiss Vegetable Producers, WaldSchweiz,

Image sources & Pictures by: LID


No posts found

Write a review