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3.6m tons grain harvest forecast this year

21 Jul 2019, 02:01 ( 1 Month ago)

DF Report
Wheat. Press Release Photo Luke/Ulla Ramstadius.

This year’s grain harvest is expected to be average at 3.6 million tons after two years of poor yield, according to the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

The expected rye harvest is abundant at 140,000 tons; more than triple the amount of the 2018 harvest, said a Luke press release.

The weather at the start of the growing season has been favourable for the growth of field crops. However, drought in Southern Finland has limited plant growth in places. Southern Karelia and the west coast, meanwhile, have suffered from the cool weather.

“The current harvest outlook is promising for nearly all plants across Finland. Only turnip rape and oilseed rape expectations are lowered by pest damage,” said Senior Statistician of Luke Anneli Partala.

Above average harvests can be expected particularly from rye and pea. Harvest is still a couple of months away, however, and weather, pests, and plant diseases during the rest of the growing season may affect final yields, and they will in particular be determined by conditions at the time of harvest.

Last year’s rye harvest covered only 40 per cent of the domestic demand for rye. At current estimates, this year’s harvest will yield more rye than last autumn, more than covering domestic demand for the next year. The estimated 140,000 tons yield would be the largest in nearly 30 years and would interrupt the need to import rye for over a year.

Oat is an important export grain for Finland, with buyers across the world. The estimated harvest yield of nearly 1.1 million tons is more than enough to satisfy the growing oat hunger of domestic industry, which is currently at about 300,000 tons. The use of oats as feed grain on farms slightly surpasses the use in industry.

Of the feed grains, though, barley is the most important. Its estimated harvest, 1.5 million tons, is about 10 per cent below average, but still over 10 per cent greater than last year.

The harvests for turnip rape and oilseed rape are set to be the smallest since the 1970s. The expected total yield of 41,000 tons is 42 per cent smaller than last year. The area sown was significantly smaller than last year for both plants, and the yield per hectare is also estimated to be even smaller than last year’s poor yield.