Germany’s grains crop lowest in 24 years after drought


Germany’s 2018 grain harvest will
be the lowest in 24 years after a drought and heatwave heavily
damaged crops, the association of German farm cooperatives DRV
said on Wednesday.

The grain crop will fall 20.3 percent to some 36.3 million
tonnes, the smallest since 1994, the association said in a
harvest report.

"The German grain harvest will in this year for the first
time in many years be below domestic requirements," the
association said, signalling an import need in Germany which is
usually a major grain exporter.

Germany is among several north European countries which have
suffered widespread damage to this summer’s harvest from drought
and heatwave, with Germany recording the highest July
temperatures since 1881.

EU wheat prices surged to 5-1/2 year highs last week on
fears crop damage will reduce supplies in coming months.
Germany is the European Union's second grain producer
after France, and in most years the EU’s largest producer of
rapeseed, Europe's main oilseed for edible oil.

Among the worst crops hit in Germany is the grain maize
(corn) harvest which will fall 49.4 percent to 2.30 million
tonnes, the association said. Many farmers are using grain maize
for on-farm animal feed instead of selling the crop, it said.

Germany’s 2018 winter wheat crop will fall 19.9 percent to
19.2 million tonnes. The wheat crop of all types will fall 18.6
percent to 19.9 million tonnes.

Germany’s farming union DBV, a separate organisation, had on
Aug. 1 forecast that the country’s winter wheat harvest will
fall around 25 percent on 2017 to about 18 million tonnes.

The overall wheat supplies on global markets are good and no
shortages are expected in Germany, the cooperatives association

France's farm ministry on Tuesday sharply cut its estimate
of this year's soft wheat harvest while forecasting a steep fall
in maize production, underlining the impact of severe weather
that has damaged farmland across Europe.

The German cooperatives also forecast Germany’s 2018 winter
rapeseed crop will fall 18.6 percent on the year to 3.47 million

Harvesting of grains and rapeseed in Germany is mostly
finished, it said.

The winter barley crop, used mostly for animal feed, will
fall 18.1 percent on the year to 7.38 million tonnes.

A bright spot is spring barley crop barley, used for malt
and beer production, is still expected to increase by 14.2
percent on the year to 2.09 million tonnes after sowings were


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