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This year's grain harvest in Sweden expected to be 4.9 million tonnes but forecast is uncertain

Christian Fernsby |
This year's total grain harvest in Sweden is expected to be 4.9 million tons.

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That is a 15 percent decrease compared to last year's harvest and a 5 percent decrease compared to the average for the past five years. This shows this year's harvest forecast from the Swedish Agency for Agriculture.

The main reasons for the lower harvest are the drought in the spring and early summer, which has given a lower yield per hectare for mainly spring-sown crops.

Autumn-sown crops that have already established themselves can cope with the drought to a better extent, but they too have been affected. Even larger areas of grain than normal are expected to have been harvested as silage for feed instead of being threshed as grain.

The harvest of winter wheat is expected to be 2.8 million tonnes, which is 6 percent less than last year's harvest. The yield per hectare is expected to decrease by 9 percent to 6,580 kilos per hectare. Winter wheat is expected to account for 57 percent of the total grain harvest.

Spring barley is the second largest crop and is expected to have a total harvest of 1.0 million, which is 28 percent less than last year's harvest. For oats, the total harvest is expected to decrease by 33 percent compared to last year to 0.5 million tons.

The yield per hectare for spring barley is expected to decrease by 21 percent to 4,280 kilograms per hectare and for oats by 26 percent to 3,550 kilograms per hectare.

The total harvest for oilseeds is estimated to be just over 0.41 million tonnes. Compared to last year's harvest for oilseeds, there is a decrease of 4 percent. Summer rapes are expected to account for 94 percent of the total oilseed crop harvest.

The Swedish Agency for Agriculture's harvest forecast is based on statistical correlations between previous years' weather conditions and harvests.

The weather conditions that prevailed during the spring and summer meant that it was difficult to estimate the harvest with the precision that the model normally provides.

The model has therefore been adjusted so that it takes greater account of the years when the weather conditions were more comparable to this year's.

The bad weather conditions have led to larger areas of grain than planned being expected to have been ensiled instead of threshed. The forecast has been adjusted for this, but at present it is uncertain how large areas this affects and it affects the reliability of the forecast.

Areas cultivated on fallow have also been included in the calculations. The background to that is the condition that the growers have been given to cultivate on fallow land.

The harvest forecast includes weather conditions up to and including July 31. The weather for August and beyond is calculated based on the average for the last 30 years.

The rain at the beginning of August has thus not been able to be included in the calculations. It is also uncertain how much impact it will have on the harvest volume. The weather in the next few weeks will be decisive.

All in all, the uncertainty in this year's forecast is therefore judged to be significantly greater than normal. Nor can the forecast say anything about how the quality of this year's harvest will be.


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