29 August 2008
The quantity of organic crops in Jersey rose by 18 per cent last year compared to 2006, and has risen by 101 per cent since 2003, according to figures released today by the Environment Department.
The agricultural statistics for 2006
published by the Environmental Management and Rural Economy section at Howard Davis Farm show that whilst the area of production of early Jersey Royal potatoes has fallen; 12,721 vergées were grown in 2007 compared with 15,452 in 2003, exports, including autumn earlies, has remained relatively static at 31,262 tonnes in 2006 and 32,316 tonnes in 2007.
Tomato exports have continued to decline, down from 6,869 tonnes in 2003 to 2,941 tonnes in 2007, a fall of 57 per cent with the area grown under glass down from 176,204 m2 to 121,855 m2, a drop of 31 per cent in the same period. These figures underline the difficult trading conditions facing this sector, in particular the high heating costs.
The total number of cows and heifers in milk has shown little change from 3,615 in 2003 to 3,571 in 2007, but during the same period milk sales through Jersey Dairy fell from 14.4 million litres to 13.3 million litres reflecting lower milk yields per cow.
The numbers of pigs, poultry and sheep were up over the five year period by 50 per cent, 28 per cent and 113 per cent respectively. However poultry and sheep numbers fell slightly in 2007 possibly due to the higher cost of renting land and increased food costs leading to lower margins.
Jersey’s agricultural statistics are now more comprehensive following a review of the parish records in 2006. Recent statistics provide the latest information about the areas of agriculture and horticultural crops grown in Jersey, as well as export quantities and values, and livestock numbers. In addition historical information is also provided for the previous four years so trends within the industry can be identified.
Commenting on the revised agricultural statistics, Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Deputy Alan MacLean said:”The benefit of the new system means we have a much clearer picture of agricultural activity in the Island and we see what trends are emerging. The figures provide a valuable source of information in helping to decide future policy.”