First harvest conclusion is cautiously optimistic

Sunshine and rain showers – the interplay of the weather in the last few days and weeks was very pronounced. Both farmers and the AGRAVIS experts in the area of work regarding the current harvest season have been watching this with great concern, but wind and heavy rain have lead to extensive damage.

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"Fortunately, at forwst glance things seemed worse than they ultimately were," says Dietrich Wünnemann, Production advisor at AGRAVIS Westfalen-Süd GmbH. Around three-quarters of the barley in its region has already been harvested and the farmers' conclusion is positive. Although the rain did delay the harvest overall. "We also found some bent ears and stems, but after threshing the damage was found to be relatively low", reports Wünnemann.

In Ostwestfalen around 70 percent of the barley has now been collected from the field. "If the weather stays as sunny and warm, we expect a very good barley harvest," says Johannes Hofnagel, Director of AGRAVIS Kornhaus Ostwestfalen GmbH. Hofnagel and his colleague Wünnemann are also in agreement with regard to the expected quality. At 58 to 65 kilograms per hectolitre, this is very varied, much more than in previous years, when the weight mostly fluctuated between 63 and 65 kilograms per hectolitre. Both also see large differences between the positively developed stocks, which have been treated intensively, and the less intensively managed areas.

The barley harvest is also almost complete in the working area of Rainer Widdel, Director of AGRAVIS Niedersachsen-Süd GmbH: "In the east – in the region around Brunswick and Magdeburg – we have already started the rape threshing. In the west – around Hanover and Hamlyn – the harvest was delayed because of the heavy rain but is now also almost complete."

In Brandenburg, Saxony and Berlin, Jens Zillmann, Director of FGL Fürstenwalder Futtermittel-Getreide-Landhandel GmbH, has been watching the fields very carefully for weeks. And he is satisfied: "Compared to 2013, we are expecting a considerably better harvest." In Germany's eastern regions, the weather conditions have been ideal recently. As a result, all sides are optimistic with regard to the forecast qualities and yield.

While the conclusion for the barley harvest overall is cautiously optimistic, wheat is now a concern. Because, of course, the extremes of weather also leave traces in the wheat fields. In Westfalen and Ostwestfalen large parts of the plants are damaged due to the large masses of water, the constant driszle and the storm over the last few days.

"In our region it is around 50 percent. The problem is that the ears do not dry and therefore ther is high vernalisation. Accordingly, the wheat can only be used as animal feed and no longer for bread flour," explains Johannes Hofnagel. Together with his colleagues and famrers, he is hoping for warm, dry and breezy weather in the coming weeks. Then there may still be a high-yield and satisfactory quality wheat harvest. "Overall we exect a very heterogeneous result this year for quality and yield," adds Rainer Widdel. Ultimately, the result of the wheat harvest in the eat will probably be better than in the west.

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