Fewer Dutch bulb growers, but their farms are getting bigger

Tourists photographing tulip fields. Photo: DutchNews.nl

The number of companies active in the Netherlands’ vast flower bulb sector has declined by 40% to about 1,600 since 2000, the national statistics office CBS reported on Friday.

At the same time, the average size of a bulb farm has doubled to 16 hectares, the CBS said, citing definitive agriculture ministry figures.

The flower bulb fields have increased in size by 16% to more than 26,000 hectares since 2000. The total area grew by about 5% between 2015 and 2016 alone, the CBS said.

Most of the increase was in tulip bulb fields which are now 36% bigger than in 2000 and account for more than half the total bulb field area. There was less impressive growth in lilies (+30%) and hyacinths (+20%) while land for growing gladiolas shrank by 43%.

Most bulbs are grown in the sandy soils of Noord-Holland but Drenthe, Flevoland and Overijssel are doing their best to catch up. The Netherlands exports some two million bulbs a year