French/German Harvest Latest

Joachim Ruhmann of DLR reports that early harvesting results from southern France remain disappointing. Barley yields are coming in 5-15% below last year with specific weights "not outstanding" - in the region of 62-64kg/hl, he says.

Early data from the harvesting south of Chartres and the Loire have been hit by the cold winter and the heat of the past few weeks, says Joachim. After interruptions to the harvest caused by weekend rains and thunderstorms, farmers' activity has resumed with harvesting already estimated at around a third complete in the southwest of the country, he adds.

Indications are that wheat and rapeseed yields will also be hit, coming in below last season's levels, he concludes.

Meanwhile in Germany early harvesting results are more promising, says Joachim. Winter barley yields and specific weights are quite varied, with averages of around 65kg/hl. The colour of this season's barley is a surprise, says Joachim, describing it as "very bright, almost white".

Yields are also fluctuating quite widely, but overall will probably average lower than last season, he says.

Some of the forward parts of the Rhineland could see the barley harvest be almost completed by the end of the week, whereas in Munsterland to the west the crop is around 10 days behind normal development, despite the recent hot weather, says Joachim.

New crop barley prices ex farm Rhineland yesterday were around EUR105-109/tonne ex farm, he adds.