EU suggests the concern may be quality, not quantity

In recent weeks, parts of Europe have seen heavy rainfall causing floods. Despite this, EU yield forecasts remain above the 5-year average according to the latest EU crop monitoring (MARS) report. In some cases, the report on Monday increased forecasted grain yields.


Much of western Europe experienced average to wet conditions in June to July. Some storm events, followed by hail, caused severe damage to specific areas. In Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands wet conditions slowed down winter crop harvests, especially winter barley. The impact on barley yields has been negative, but limited.

Alternatively, southern and south-eastern Europe suffered hotter and some dry weather, which is turn has hampered yield forecasts for these countries.

However overall EU supply of cereals, and wheat overall, is expected to remain strong. It is quality that presents a concern, with durum wheat yields forecast down slightly on the month, but still ahead of the 5-year average.

Quality concerns, who may have them?
In France, stormy weather is expected to cause lodging losses especially in the Northeast. Overall, wet weather at grain filling is expected to cause winter cereals quality issues.

In Germany too, yields look strong. Though extreme rain has caused severe crop damage and concerns for grain quality. The report adds more unstable weather is forecasted for Germany too. Weather going forward in especially France and Germany will remain a watch point.

In Ukraine and eastern Romania, wet conditions into June have caused quality concerns. Specifically, around the spread of diseases and pests.

What does this mean?
This concern on EU winter cereal quality only adds to disquiet on global availability of high protein milling wheat. Canada and the US are facing large issues with hot and dry weather, expected to cause substantial yield loss to spring wheat crops. US spring wheat production is predicted the lowest in 33 years.

As James discussed yesterday, the quality of UK wheat needs to be watched closely too. Should the UK not meet demand for milling spec wheat this season, we could see milling premium increases. This is especially with concerns over availability in Canada and Germany, significant import origins for milling wheat.

EU suggests the concern may be quality, not quantity
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LIVE - DEFRA SFI Janet Hughes “ask me anything” 19:00-20:00 20th September (Today)

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Hello, I’m Janet Hughes. I’m the Programme Director for the Future Farming and Countryside Programme in Defra – the programme that’s phasing out the Common Agricultural Policy and introducing new schemes and services for farmers.

Today (20 September) between 7pm-8pm, I and some of my colleagues will be answering your questions about our work including the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Farming in Protected Landscapes, and our test and trials.

We’ll try to answer at least 15 of your top voted questions, so please vote on the questions you’d most like me to answer.

You can read more about our Future Farming policy on our blog.

I’ve answered some of your questions previously: you can watch the videos on...