Saturday, 23 March, 2019

2018 sees lowest cereal harvest in 26 years

15 Mar 2019, 02:24 ( 8 days ago) | updated: 15 Mar 2019, 02:27 ( 8 days ago)

DF Report
Visit Finland photo by Julia Kivelä.

The year 2018 was the second consecutive poor harvest year in Finland, according to the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

Last year, drought reduced the total yield, particularly in Southwest Finland and surrounding areas. In addition to cereals, the broad bean harvest was much smaller than normal, said a press release.

In 2017, heavy rainfall reduced the total yield.

“Last year’s cereal harvest totalled 2.7 million tons, being the smallest in the 2000s. The cereal harvest decreased by one-fifth from the year before. The dry growing season also scorched grasslands, while autumn rains saved the green fodder harvest in most cattle areas. The sudden and unexpected loss of the broad bean harvest resulted from the silver Y, which ate broad bean leaves in large areas”, said Anneli Partala, senior statistician of Luke.

In Southwest Finland, yields per hectare fell the most clearly behind of average yields – the green fodder harvest was half of the average and the cereal harvest was smaller than on average by one-third or one-fourth.

Because one-fifth of all cereals is produced in the Southwest Finland region, the poor harvest levels reduce Finland’s total yield more than the harvest levels of other regions. Drought in Southwest Finland did not have any significant impact on Finland’s green fodder harvest, as only 3–4% of all silage feed is produced in the region.

Of Finland’s cereal harvest, organic cereals account for 3%, or 86,000 tons, most of which consists of oats. In recent years, the Finnish milling industry has increased the use of conventionally and organically produced oats. Finnish oats and oat products are also hot-selling products in other countries.

 “Finland continues to be the world’s largest producer of caraway, and the caraway harvest increased almost by one-tenth. Perennial caraway did not suffer from the dry growing season as much as annual plants. The caraway area is already larger than the sugar beet area, and nearly as large as the potato and broad bean area”, Partala said.

The broad bean harvest decreased by one-fourth from the previous year, being the smallest during the nine-year statistical period.