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Wheat yields in Germany cannot compensate for decrease in cultivated area

The German Farmers Association analyzes the average seedlings per hectare of wheat and rapeseed in the German country.


Agricultural machinery in the German fields.

The second harvest report from the German Farmers Association (DBV) shows that the grain harvest is progressing more slowly than in previous years due to interruptions due to rain. “The winter wheat harvest has progressed very differently in different regions. For the progress of the harvest, we need stable and dry weather conditions. At the regional level, the first wheat stocks go to the warehouse. If there are more delays in the harvest, this not only costs yield, but also reduces the quality of the harvested crop, "emphasizes the president of DBV, Joachim Rukwied, regarding the harvest of the most important grain in German cultivation.

The threshing results of the wheat crops harvested so far indicate an average German national yield level of 7.5 tonnes per hectare. In the event of large regional fluctuations, the yield would therefore be approximately on average between 2015 and 2019 (7.6 tons per hectare) and would correspond to the performance of the previous year. According to current estimates, the harvest volume will be significantly lower by 21.4 million tons (previous year: 22.8 million tons) and, above all, it will again be below the five-year average (2015 to 2019) of 23.3 million tons. The reason for this is the reduced area of ​​2.84 million hectares in autumn 2019 due to difficult planting conditions (-7% compared to 2019). “The June rain was able to stabilize wheat yields. However, the results so far are not definitive. We hope that stocks that mature later can benefit more from the better water supply, ”Rukwied continued.

The harvest of Germany's most important oil crop, winter rape, is in full swing in most regions, and is already well advanced in many places. With a yield of 3.4 tons per hectare, threshing results correspond to the average of several years and exceed the previous year's earnings of 3.3 tons per hectare by 2.5 percent. In contrast, with an increase of almost 15 percent to 3.2 million tons, the harvest volume is likely to be significantly higher than the previous year (2.8 million tons). The higher harvest volume is largely due to the expansion of the surface in a good 100,000 hectares to 953,000 hectares (+ 11.7%).

Even if the summer weather conditions are necessary for the rapid progress of the grain and rapeseed harvest, the vegetation as a whole still lacks water. In particular, the production of corn, potato and sugar beet crops to be harvested in the fall is only possible if there is an adequate water supply. This also applies to the growth of grasslands, on which livestock farms urgently depend on the accumulation of their food reserves.

The DBV harvest report is based on surveys of the 18 state farmers associations on the quantities actually harvested.

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