Friday July 12, 2024

Drought, autumn rains reduce cereal, potato harvests

Published : 26 Nov 2023, 00:16

  DF Report
File Photo VisitFinland by Elina Sirparanta.

The yields of several crops harvested from Finnish fields reduced significantly this year, according to the preliminary statistics published by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

The barley harvest was almost a third, the potato harvest a sixth, the wheat harvest a tenth and the broad bean and caraway harvest half smaller than on average during the last ten years.

Drought in early summer and wet conditions later in summer reduced crop yields and quality.

“This year, cereals for use in food production are expected to be used as feed to some extent, and smaller volumes will also be burned. As the smaller potato yield will increase sorting and storage losses, a smaller part of the harvest than normal will be delivered to shops,” said Anneli Partala, Senior Statistician of Luke.

The cereal harvest mainly consists of Finland´s four main cereals: barley, oats, wheat, and rye.

The barley harvest of roughly 1.1 million tons was nearly a third, the wheat harvest of 730,000 tons roughly a tenth and the oat harvest of a million tons a few per cent smaller than normal.

Only the rye harvest of 90,000 tons was by almost a tenth higher than the ten-year average.

The potato harvest was slightly less than 500,000 tons. Not all potatoes have been harvested from wet fields, as a fifth is estimated to have remained unharvested. The statistics show that, previously, the potato harvest has only been less than 500,000 tons in 1923, 1981, 1987 and 2012.

The largest potato yields were harvested in the 1940s–1960s, with the annual harvest being almost two billion kilos at its highest.

Pea production has expanded in the last few years so that this year’s pea area was the largest so far, approaching 40,000 hectares. However, the pea harvest of approximately 90,000 tons was a few per cent smaller than in the previous year, regardless of the larger pea area.

Organic oat harvest started to decrease – organic rye harvest increased by a third

Oat is the main cereal in organic production. The organic oat harvest increased until last year.

This year’s harvest of roughly 84,000 tons was a quarter smaller than in the previous year. In contrast, the organic rye harvest increased by a third. The organic rye harvest of roughly 13,000 tons accounts for 14 per cent of Finland’s total rye harvest.