Heavy rain slowed down farmers in many places in Bavaria during the grain harvest. However, the rain is good for corn, potatoes, sugar beet or also for grassland, as Anton Huber from the Bavarian Farmers' Association said. Corn and potatoes are harvested later and therefore benefit from the moisture.
Above all, the quality of the grain suffers when it is ready to be harvested in the field but the combine harvester cannot move forward. If the grain is no longer of baking quality and can only be marketed as feed grain, this leads to major losses for the farmers, Huber continued. However, this will not have any impact on consumers and thus on the supply of flour and baked goods. "Grain trade is global," emphasized the expert.
If grain that is still on the field in the rain turns dark, black fungus has developed. However, they are harmless and can later be cleaned out of the harvested grain.
In the case of winter barley and winter wheat, i.e. varieties that were harvested long ago, the yields were higher than expected, said Peter Doleschel, head of the Institute for Crop Production and Plant Breeding at the State Institute for Agriculture (LfL). For grain that has now suffered from the wet weather and is yet to be harvested, he expects below-average yields.
The rain was good for forage production in agriculture. Grass clover, for example, or alfalfa benefit from this, Doleschel said.
Especially when it comes to malting barley, Markus Herz from the LfL sees large fluctuations in terms of quality and yield: "It varies extremely locally." It is not yet foreseeable which harvest will be brought in. According to LfL information, the area under spring barley in Bavaria has fallen again - from around 98,600 hectares in the previous year to almost 87,000 hectares this year.
The most important grain on the Bavarian fields is and remains wheat with a cultivated area of 498,160 hectares. However, in 2022 it was still more than 510,000 hectares. On the other hand, the acreage for winter rapeseed has grown by 9 percent to around 112,500 hectares.
According to the LfL, the weather so far this year has been difficult for agriculture: sowing in spring was made more difficult by cold and rain, followed by a long phase of drought and heat from mid-May, before it began to rain in many places towards the end of July and got noticeably cooler.
State Institute for Agriculture