Friday December 09, 2022

2021 sees lowest cereal harvest in 2000s

Published : 25 Nov 2021, 03:34

  DF Report

File Photo Fotolia/ Visit Finland.

This autumn’s cereal harvest totalled 2.6 million tons this year, which is about 30 per cent lower than the average cereal harvest during the previous ten years, according to Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

The last time the cereal harvest was as small was in 1992.

“Farms are generally facing a financially difficult situation. In 2018, the cereal harvest was also low at roughly 2.7 million tons. In addition to low yields in many recent years, farmers are concerned over the success of next summer’s sowing due to significant increases in fertiliser prices,” said Anneli Partala, senior statistician of Luke.

Barley is the most cultivated cereal in Finland. This year’s barley harvest of approximately one million tons accounts for 40 per cent of the total cereal harvest. The last time the barley harvest was as low was in 1974 when it remained under one million tons. In addition to its extensive use as feed, barley is an important raw material in the malt industry.

Alongside barley, oat, wheat and rye harvests were lower than on average. When examined over a ten-year period, the harvest levels of oats and rye were lower by one quarter and those of wheat by one fifth.

Organic cereal production has increased steadily during the previous ten years. In 2021, the organic harvest was 113 million kilos, accounting for five per cent of the total cereal harvest. The organic cereal harvest puts a dent in the increase in production, even though the organic cereal area stayed nearly stable. Like the total cereal harvest, the organic harvest was more than 20 per cent lower than the 2020 harvest.

The preliminary crop production statistics on the 2021 harvest are based on information obtained from approximately 4,100 farms, some 480 of which are organic farms.

“The worst harvest since I started farming in 1984,” said a farmer who responded to the crop production survey on the 2021 summer season and harvest.