EU grain harvest suffers amid drought
The hot and dry weather in Europe this summer is compounding the crises already taking place, leading to an expected drop in grain production.
The European commissioner for agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, recently tweeted that due to the drought conditions, grain harvesting will have to be sped up this year in many regions of Europe.
Soft wheat production is expected to contract by 5% from the last season, with the harvest already completed in France and Germany. Barley is expected to decrease by 1%, while the maize harvest, which will start in the autumn, is expected to be well below the long-term average.
According to the August World Agricultural Production report of the US Department of Agriculture’ Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), the EU is expected to produce 60 million tonnes of corn, 15% down on last year and 10% below the five-year average. Corn has been significantly impacted by searing heat and widespread drought during pollination and tasseling, the report notes.
EU wheat production in the 2022/23 season is expected to be 132.1 million tonnes, 4% below last year and slightly below the five-year average.
In Serbia, however, the wheat yield is estimated to be 30% down on the 10-year mean value, according to comments by wheat expert Miroslav Malesevic, cited by Euractiv. The technological quality of wheat is also expected to decline due to the droughts and fertilisation delays because of high prices of mineral fertilisers.