Corn yields are significantly reduced due to the prolonged drought.
Photo: Adobe stock
MUNICH, GERMANY — The German Farmers Association (DBV) announced on Aug. 1 that it now projects the country’s 2018 grain crop at 36 million tonnes, down from its earlier projection of 41 million tonnes.

With drought significantly affecting the crop, Joachim Rukwied, president of the DBV, urged swift action from the state and federal governments.

“Many farmers now need quick support,” he said.

He said the grain and rapeseed harvest has progressed rapidly in recent weeks.

“Even in the north German regions, the harvest shows the catastrophic extent of drought damage,” he said. “The low yield expectations and concern for adequate feed have led some farms to prematurely harvest their cereal stocks.”

He said corn yields are significantly reduced due to the prolonged drought.

As for winter wheat, the most important grain harvested in Germany, the harvest is nearing completion in most regions. Average yield to this point is 6 tonnes per hectare, 20% below the previous year’s level, Rukwied said. Total production is forecast at 18 million tonnes, well below last year’s total of 24 million tonnes.

He said yields for winter rye are averaging 3.7 tonnes per hectare, 28% below last year’s level of 5.1 tonnes. Rye production has fallen to 2 million this year from 2.7 million tonnes in 2017.

Rapeseed average yield and production is also lower, with yield declining 21% to 2.6 tonnes and output down 24% to 3.3 million tonnes.