Luke: Finland set to have its lowest grain harvest of the 21st century
The extended period of dry and hot weather is set to have a considerable impact on grain yields in Finland, reports the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).
Luke on Friday revealed it expects the annual grain harvest to be approximately 2.8 billion kilos, lower than ever before since the turn of the millennium and a third lower than the highest harvest of the millen nium in 2009.
âIf the estimate is correct, the grain harvest will be as low as in 1998 and 1999, when the harvest was first reduced by continuous rain and then by a dry and hot summer,â Anneli Partala, a senior statistician at Luke, says in a press release.
This year is expected to be already the third successive year of poor harvest in Finland. The harvest may fall short of the even conservative estimate if the unusually dry and hot weather continues.
Professor Pirjo Peltonen-Sainio of Luke tells that plants in some parts of the country were able to recover from the heatwave that coincided with the start of the growing season during the subsequent period of cool and rainy weather. âBut the new heatwave can cause lignification, which would further reduce the expected harvest,â she adds.
Luke stated that the rye yield is expected to decrease by a half from the previous year to around 50 million kilos, a level that would o nly cover a half of annual rye consumption in Finland.
The wheat yield, in turn, is expected to fall by 33 per cent to a 15-year low, the barley yield by 12 per cent to a 30-year low and the oats yield by 10 per cent to an 8-year low. The oats yield is thereby expected to fall short of 900 million kilos for only the second time over the past three decades.
The harvest forecasts are based on local estimates provided by experts at ProAgria Rural Advisory Centre.
Aleksi Teivainen â" HT
Photo: Timo Aalto â" Lehtikuva