First harvest stocktaking: Resistant barley and wheat with "sun burn"

Agriculturists got off with a black eye as far as barley is concerned. However, before they can assess the wheat harvest, they will have to wait and see how well it has coped with the "sun burn" of the record heat weekend. This is the initial conclusion drawn by the AGRAVIS experts from East and West Germany.

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In the field of activity of Rainer Widdel, director of AGRAVIS Niedersachsen-Süd GmbH AGRAVIS Niedersachsen-Süd GmbH, agriculturists interrupted the barley harvest due to the rain. "We were bringing in the harvest until Saturday. A good third of the grain volume has been brought in", explains Widdel. "The yield is heterogeneous, but I am positively surprised. We had expected less than this."

Compared to the record year 2014, this time Widdel expects "somewhat less than the normal average harvest". The aridity during spring time was the problem. Now agriculturists in Lower Saxony just need a few dry days to finish harvesting the barley. The weather forecast for the period starting this week Thursday by all means raises their hope. The wheat too still requires better weather: "But it is now ripening very quickly."

In Eastern Westphalia, agriculturists are still somewhat behind with the barley – not unusual, as Daniel Dreker, Logistics and Retail at the AGRAVIS Kornhaus Ostwestfalen GmbH AGRAVIS Kornhaus Ostwestfalen GmbH, explains: "We are always one or two weeks later than the others. Some have sporadically started with the harvest, but it is still too little to be able to predict the quality. So far, a maximum of five percent has been taken down." He too is looking towards the weekend: "If temperatures are rising, then we will perhaps really be taking off in a week's time. As a rule, we always start a week later with the harvest than other regions", explains Dreker.

In Southern Westphalia, a good half of the winter barley had been threshed by last Saturday. "So far the result is good. The majority of agriculturists have had good yields", rejoices Dietrich Wünnemann, production consultant at AGRAVIS Westfalen-Süd GmbH AGRAVIS Westfalen-Süd GmbH. He puts this in more concrete terms: "The barley yield will surely be 10 to 15 percent better than during the past year. And yet we have been lamenting the fact that spring was too dry!" In Southern Westphalia too, the barley has coped well with the spell of hot weather: "If the weather is going to improve now, then the barley will be gone within two, three days."

However, for the wheat the situation is different: "Things look very bad there", Wünnemann thinks. "The temperatures of around 40 degrees have hurt the wheat. Some plots that were not in good shape have suffered a lot. In those cases, I anticipate yield losses."

In Brandenburg, Saxony and Berlin, agriculturists have also been busy during the past days before it started to rain. "In our region, two thirds of the barley have been harvested", explains Jens Zillmann, director of FGL Fürstenwalder Futtermittel-Getreide Landhandel GmbH FGL Fürstenwalder Futtermittel-Getreide Landhandel GmbH. According to his information, agriculturists are relatively satisfied with the yields: "Of course we have not been able to touch the record harvests of 2014 and 2013. I would say, it was an average harvest." In this region too, the last third is going to be harvested in the course of this week.

However, like his colleagues from North and West Germany, Zillmann has forebodings that the upcoming harvests will not yield much good: "The rapeseed and wheat harvest will bring the disillusion, I fear. There the huge deficits in rain will be felt."

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