This year's cereals harvest yield forecast 20 percent lower than 2020

Combine harvester at work in Estonia.
Combine harvester at work in Estonia. Source: Olev Kenk/ERR

Cereal harvests this year are likely to be around 20 percent down on the figure for 2020. Last year's harvest set a record, however, while the hot and dry summer this year is the main factor in the absolute decline.

Janno Toomet, sales manager at farming association Kevil, noted the issue was compounded by major cereal-producing nations like Russia and Canada also experiencing poor harvests, a situation which has led to high world prices.

Toomet said: "Russia's harvest figures have been severely curtailed, while there have been major problems in Canada too. This has had a severe impact on the markets. By the end of this year, for example, wheat stocks are forecast to be at their lowest for the past five years, while prices are high."

Last year, cereals exports in Estonia stood at €210 million, while the overall yield was 1.63 million tonnes, just over half of which was wheat, and just over a third, barley.

Kaisa Pajusalu, seed center sales manager at the Estonian Institute of Plant Breeding (Eesti taimekasvatuse instituut) said that summer crop yields would be particularly hard hit.

Pajusalu said: "Winter crop yields have not fallen at much. I would venture to say that the figure there will be perhaps 15 to 20 percent lower. But the loss of summer crop yields, which have suffered much more in the drought, will be much greater. I don't make a claim to absolute truth, but I think a 30 percent figure could definitely be the case."

Peak cereals export season runs late August to late November.

At the same time, world prices are high in cereals generally, with wheat reaching a five-year high recently.

In Estonia, while the overall harvest will be about 20 percent lower than in 2020, the quality of wheat produce is likely to be better, Janno Toomet of Kevil, which represents just over 150 grain and rapeseed producers, said.

Grain harvesting started earlier this year than usual, he added, with about 10-15 percent of the harvest still to come in.

Estonia is one of the most northerly cereal-producing countries in the world.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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