German co-op cuts barley, wheat forecasts ahead of harvest

17 Jun 2020 | Rei Geyssens

With just weeks left before the official start of this year’s grain harvest, a German cooperative has trimmed its wheat and barley forecasts by 1% as rains came too late to give a boost to yields following drier spring weather.

In its fourth estimate of the German 2020 crop, the farm cooperative Deutscher Raiffeisenverband (DRV) cut its total barley estimate to 11.19 million mt, down around 3.5% on the year.

While the spring barley forecast was mostly kept stable from its previous estimate in May at 1.94 million mt, it is expected output for this year’s winter barley harvest will be lowered to 9.25 million mt.

“The reason for this is a somewhat smaller acreage and lower yields per hectare due to the drought in the spring. In addition, late frosts have affected winter barley in some regions,” the DRV said.

This year’s grain harvest will kick off with the winter barley crop over the next week “if the warm summer weather continues,” DRV’s grain marker expert Guido Seedler said.

The German wheat crop estimate was lowered to 22.22 million mt, down 3.7% on the year, as recent rainfall arrived too late to give a boost in yields and will only stabilise the current yield outlook, the cooperative said.

“Rainfalls came too late in many places for a significant increase in yields. Rather, the warm, damp weather increases the risk of fungal infections,” Seedler added.

The DRV also cut its rapeseed estimate by 1.5% on the month to 3.2 million mt, but it remains well above last year's disappointing result of 2.82 million mt.

Meanwhile, the German corn crop “has benefited significantly more from the rain” with the estimate kept static on the month at 4.37 million mt, and well above last year’s result of 3.66 million mt when dry weather during the summer months hampered yield development.