Last summer’s drought reduced the total yield, but enabled autumn sowing in good conditions. In autumn 2018, the area sown with rye was the second largest in the 2000s. During a normal growth period, this would easily be sufficient to cover domestic demand. The areas sown with winter wheat and rye both exceeded 40,000 hectares.
Preparations for having a solid supply of domestic rye bread next autumn have been made. This autumn, the area sown with winter rye was more than two times larger than last autumn. During a normal growth season, this would easily cover domestic demand.
However, there is a long way from sowing to harvesting. Cereals sown in autumn can only be enjoyed next autumn.
“Weather conditions next winter and summer decide how large the total yield will be next autumn”, says Anneli Partala, senior statistician at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).
The area sown with organic rye was also larger than in the year before, with its area of roughly 5,400 hectares being the largest in four years.
Area sown with winter wheat quadrupled
The area sown with winter wheat also increased notably to nearly 44,000 hectares. This is the largest area in at least four years, and is nearly four times larger than in the previous year. The area sown with winter wheat harvested last autumn was historically small. The majority of all wheat in Finland will be sown next spring. Winter wheat may account for more than one-fifth of next year’s yield.
Record-high area sown with winter turnip rape and rapeseed
The area sown with winter turnip rape and rapeseed also increased, even reaching a new record. The previous year’s area more than doubled to roughly 5,400 hectares. The majority of turnip rape and rapeseed will also be sown in spring.
Autumn sowing makes the spring less busy
“Autumn sowing means that farms are less busy next spring. The total area sown in autumn of approximately 90,000 hectares is less than 10% of the area sown with cereals and oil plants next spring. Last spring, the area sown with cereals and oil plants was roughly 1.1 million hectares”, Partala says.
The estimated area sown to winter crops was asked from farms during Luke’s crop production survey, covering 6,200 farms. The sown area will be specified next June when sown areas entered by farms in the rural business register of the Agency for Rural Affairs are available. Being the statistical authority, Luke produces farm statistics that are publicly available in Luke’s statistical database.