Harvest Report 2016
The German cereal and rapeseed harvest has generated yields below average in 2016. This is demonstrated by the current harvest statement of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
In the current reporting year (September 2015-August 2016) the harvest was affected by adverse weather conditions such as an early autumn 2015 that was slightly too dry. Another mild winter and heavy rainfall in most regions in early summer also had an influence on the harvest. This led to an increased number of diseases in crops as well as lower crop yields and crop quality.
The annual harvest report provides an overview of the yield prospects for important crops in Germany and describes their market situation. Data is primarily collected on cereals and rapeseed: Alongside the detailed description of the German market, the situation on world markets and in the European Union is also briefly outlined. In addition to this, the harvest report also contains information on other arable and permanent crops and on fodder production.
Average Cereal Yields
Though total cereal yields (wheat, barley, rye, oats, grain maize) were 4.5% lower than the previous year, in which yields had been quite good, they hit the exact mean value amongst the figures for the period 2010-2015. Depending on weather conditions, harvest quality, however, varied greatly according to region. Land used for growing cereals that are harvested for grain shrunk by 2.6% compared with the previous year. This is because farmers are increasingly using land for growing protein crops, winter rape and sugar-beet.
Rapeseed: larger cultivated area, but lower yield
In Germany winter rape is by far the most important oil seed. Although the cultivated area for the 2016 harvest was 3.9% larger than the year before, the crop volume was 7% lower. Major regional differences can also be seen here: whereas the yield level in Southern Germany was good, yields in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Brandenburg and Schleswig Holstein sunk in some cases by more than a quarter.
Marginal decrease in cultivated area for potatoes
The decrease in area used for growing potatoes continues, though it has slowed down. During the reported period the cultivated area was 0.5% smaller compared to the year before.
As a whole, the weather conditions were unfavourable for potato cultivation. Potatoes were best grown in areas with lighter soils and good water drainage conditions. The early potato season, which had a late start due to delayed crop development, returned lower crop volumes than the previous year. It is still too early to estimate the yield for the later varieties.
Cultivation of pulses is expanded
The cultivation of pulses including peas, broad beans, sweet lupines and soybeans has become a trend: this is because farmers are able to register nitrogen-fixing crops as ecological focus areas (EFA). Initial crop yields indicate an average yield level, though the harvest is not yet over.
Asparagus still most important vegetable crop
Asparagus is the most important vegetable in Germany, at least in terms of the size of cultivated area. Compared to the previous year this area grew by 7% and the crop volume increased by 5%.
Only later in the year will there be reliable data on the cultivation and harvest of the other vegetable crops. However, what is clear already is that crop production in important growing regions has been sorely affected by unusual weather conditions, i.a. due to heavy rainfall and, in some cases, flooding.
Still hope for a good vintage
The main wine harvest will only begin in September, so there is the chance of a high-quality vintage - provided that Autumn is sunny and dry . Good autumnal weather would be beneficial for grape ripening and at the same time would slow down the reproduction of the spotted-wing drosophila, which can damage the ripening berries. The crop volume will be rather average.
- As of:
- Understanding Farming - Facts and figures about German farming (PDF, 2 MB, not barrier-free)
- German Agriculture - Facts and Figures (PDF, 3 MB, not barrier-free)
- The German Federal Government Agriculture Report, 2011 (PDF, 3 MB, not barrier-free)
- Map Agriculture and Forestries in Germany (jpg, 409 KB, not barrier-free)
- Agricultural products in Germany at a glance (infographics)