This autumn’s cereal harvest totalled 2.6 million tons. It is nearly 30 per cent smaller than the average cereal harvest during the previous ten years. The last time the cereal harvest was as small was in 1992.
“Farms are generally facing a financially difficult situation. In 2018, the cereal harvest was also low at roughly 2.7 million tons. In addition to low yields in many recent years, farmers are concerned over the success of next summer’s sowing due to significant increases in fertiliser prices,” says Anneli Partala, senior statistician at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).
The lowest barley harvest in nearly 50 years
Barley is the most cultivated cereal in Finland. This year’s barley harvest of approximately one million tons accounts for 40 per cent of the total cereal harvest. The last time the barley harvest was as low was in 1974 when it remained under one million tons. In addition to its extensive use as feed, barley is an important raw material in the malt industry.
Alongside barley, oat, wheat and rye harvests were lower than on average. When examined over a ten-year period, the harvest levels of oats and rye were lower by one quarter and those of wheat by one fifth.
The organic harvest a quarter lower than in the previous year
Organic cereal production has increased steadily during the previous ten years. In 2021, the organic harvest was 113 million kilos, accounting for five per cent of the total cereal harvest. The organic cereal harvest puts a dent in the increase in production, even though the organic cereal area stayed nearly stable. Like the total cereal harvest, the organic harvest was more than 20 per cent lower than the 2020 harvest.
Crop production statistics include all key crops in Finland
The preliminary crop production statistics on the 2021 harvest are based on information obtained from approximately 4,100 farms, some 480 of which are organic farms. This autumn, information about harvest levels will be collected from approximately 6,100 farms. The collection of harvest data will end at the beginning of December, and the final 2021 crop production statistics will be completed on 17 February. You can subscribe to the final statistics at https://stat.luke.fi/en/order-releases.
A farmer who responded to the crop production survey gave the following comments on the 2021 summer season and harvest: “The worst harvest since I started farming in 1984.”
The level of domestic crop production regarding key crops has been monitored in Finland for more than a hundred years. Luke’s statistical database includes historical data and crop production volumes regarding different parts of Finland. The crop production statistics indicate the harvest levels of the following crops in Finland: rye, wheat, barley, oats, turnip rape, rapeseed, potato, sugar beet, dry hay, and silage fodder. Data is available starting from 1920. Organic harvest data is available starting from 1999.