HAMBURG- Germany's barley crop is still expected to be larger than last year's despite heavy rain slowing the harvest and some losses from the storms, the country's farming association DBV said on Thursday.
Record rainfall and floods especially in south and western Germany last week caused heavy loss of life in the country's worst natural disaster in almost six decades.
“We still have no exact indications from the areas hit by floods about the extent of the damage,” the DBV said in a harvest report. "But it must be expected that in many fields there will be a total loss of the harvest."
Despite this, the association on Thursday repeated its forecast given on July 7 that Germany’s 2021 harvest of winter barley, largely used for animal feed, will rise to around 9.3 million tonnes from 8.7 million tonnes last year.
Even with the bad weather, German farmers have achieved winter barley crop yields of 6.5 to 8.5 tonnes per hectare, which are within expectations, it said.
About half of Germany’s winter barley has been harvested but with enormous differences between regions, it said.
“The changeable weather means that harvesting has been repeatedly interrupted,” said DBV president Joachim Rukwied.
In the north-eastern region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern which largely escaped the storms, barley harvesting is almost complete. But in the southern regions of Bavaria and Saxony, 90% of winter barley is still in the fields, it said.
(Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by Kirsten Donovan) ((email@example.com; +49 172 671 36 54; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))