According to information provided by farmers who have responded to the crop production survey, this year’s grain harvest was small – as small as in 1998. The potato harvest was as large as in the year before.
The grain harvest totalled 2.7 million tons, being close to the level in the late 1960s, when the cultivation of barley expanded as a result of increasing domestic animal production.
“Even though the price paid for cereals was higher than usual, the small grain harvest presents challenges to cereal and domestic animal farms that struggle with lost or small harvests. Domestic animal farms feed animals using the cereals they produce or they need to purchase cereals at higher prices than before”, says Anneli Partala, senior statistician at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).
This year, the grain harvest was poor in the entire Baltic Sea region.
Kernels of oats are smaller than usual, which is an indication of a lower mill and feed quality.
Are we still self-sufficient in terms of rye?
The rye harvest of 41,000 tons crashed from the over 110,000 tons last year which reached the limit of self-sufficiency. The rye harvest typically changes drastically from one year to the next. This lower harvest level was already expected a year ago when it was understood that the cultivated area was not large enough for self-sufficiency.
Turnip rape and rapeseed harvest decreased by one-fourth
The turnip rape and rapeseed harvest is expected to be approximately 70,000 tons, showing a decrease of more than one-fifth from the year before. The last time the harvest level was lower was four years ago, when the cultivation area was one-fourth smaller than this year.
Organic harvest also decreased
Oat is by far the most cultivated organic cereal in Finland. The organic oat harvest of roughly 45,000 tons is one-fourth smaller than in the previous year. The organic rye harvest decreased by the same amount. Organic cereals make up approximately 3% of the total grain harvest in Finland.
Background to the statistics
Luke collects crop production information from approximately 6,200 farms, of which 660 are organic farms, using telephone interviews and an online service. The preliminary statistics include information from approximately 4,800 farms. The information will be reported as final in March 2019, when the confirmed data supplied by farms included in the sample will become available for the calculation of harvest volumes.
Information about the quality of the grain harvest has been compiled by combining the harvest information collected by Luke and Evira’s grain quality monitoring information.