KernAktuell July 2018, News

Pumpkin cultivation areas

The area on which pumpkins are grown again remained small in 2018

Since the 2016 harvest there has been an adequate supply of pumpkins on the market. Is this about to change? The 2018 cultivation areas indicate what we can expect.

The area on which oil pumpkins are being grown in Austria this year (approx. 23,300 hectares) has increased only very slightly since last year (22,776 hectares) – and is thus significantly less than the 25,000 hectares that was expected before the start of the season. Of the 23,300 hectares, 6,100 hectares are being farmed organically, which means that the area on which organic pumpkins are being grown remains roughly the same as before.

It is not only in Austria but throughout Europe that oil pumpkin growing is standing still (see diagram). Farmers are finding that other crops offer more attractive earning potential as well as a lower yield risk.

There are currently too many uncertainties for a prediction of the size of the harvest to be possible. But it is a fact that in 2018, as in 2017, the area on which pumpkins are being grown conventionally is only half what it was in 2016 – both in Austria and in Europe as a whole. If the size of the harvest in 2018 is at or below the multi-year average, there is likely to be a supply shortage in the following season. The “pursuit of quantity” that we saw in 2014/15 would then replace the “pursuit of price”.

Adjustment of the area on which Styrian scarlet runner beans PDO are grown.

The area on which Styrian scarlet runner beans PDO are grown declined by about a quarter in 2018. In contrast to earlier years, 2016 and 2017 produced good yields, which meant that farmers adjusted the area to demand. The conferring of the European designation of origin “Styrian scarlet runner beans PDO” will further stimulate demand. The trend towards regional foods, the greater attention paid by consumers to packaging information and not least the increased monitoring activity by the monitoring organisation to weed out free-riders will enhance this development.

Immer auf dem neuesten Stand


Traditional Styrian
stamp press process

While modernity has brought progress in many areas, the traditional Styrian stamp press process is still the best way of making pumpkin seed oil. The main difference between this and other pressing methods is that we work with open roasting pans. At our plant, people check when the pumpkin seeds are perfectly roasted and so will yield the very best oil. This enables our experienced oil millers to produce the pumpkin seed oil that has won more prizes than any other – and which as a result of this type of pressing retains all the natural constituents. The untreated oil is not filtered; the particles that make it cloudy settle naturally when the oil is left to rest.

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