RMI Analytics Crop Tour Report – 2016 Scandinavia (Denmark and Sweden)
On August 9 and 10 RMI Analytics conducted a malting barley crop tour in southern Sweden and Denmark visiting commercial fields, trial plots and silos.
During the tour the barley harvest was starting and stopping according to the weather, as rain squalls continued to pass over the entire area being visited. The crop, and the harvest, is about a week to ten days behind average progress thanks to the ongoing cold, wet conditions.
In Sweden crops were the furthest behind of all seen on the tour with the harvest ramping up slowly, but not happening in force anywhere across the country.In the South of Sweden conditions were too dry in the spring and yield losses are expected, while in the West crop did better and are more advanced, as too in the East. The tour heard the Lakes Region of central Sweden is looking very good with the malting barley harvest one to two weeks away, a typical situation for that area.
Regarding the variety split Propino makes up 45% of spring barley sown in Sweden, KWS Irina 25%, with RGT Planet, Quench and Tipple making up the rest along with specialty distilling varieties. In the South the most complete results are out of Ystad with 267 deliveries from farmers displaying results of 11.1% protein, 66.3kg/HL while Malmo returned 11.3% protein and 66.2kg/HL from 146 deliveries.
In Helsingborg 72 deliveries returned averages of 10.8% protein and 67.5kg/HL while from Arhus 12 deliveries showed 10.6% protein and 65.4kg/HL. Falkenberg was had the smallest sample size of the results the tour was given, reporting averages of 13.1% protein, 64kg/HL from six deliveries. On farms visited by the tour smaller yields were reported with smaller kernels and shorter ears on barley plants. At the Trollenas Estate in Eslov yields of 5.5-6MT/Ha on Propino for this year were reported, down from 7.5MT/Ha in previous years with similar decreases in wheat (normally 10MT/Ha now 9MT/Ha) and rapeseed (usually 4.3MT/Ha now 3MT/Ha). On the next farm, Loarps Gard in Tagarp the tour saw Propino sown on March 20 in a field which previously grown corn with 100kg of nitrogen applied per hectare.
Here the farmer expected a yield of 6.5MT/Ha but despite large grain size, shorter ears and fewer tillers led the tour to think the crop may only yield 5MT/Ha.
Overall the tour heard Sweden will return lower yields than 2015 with higher protein and a huge variation in results due to the large sowing window as well as the variable climatic conditions throughout the season.
In neighboring Denmark problems similar to those experienced in Sweden were reported with a lengthy sowing period, dryness in spring and now cold and wet conditions hampering crops and harvest.
Regarding the variety split in Denmark this year KWS Irina has the largest share of certified seed sales at 26.3% with Quench just behind at 22%, Evergreen next at 20.3%, Propino 6.7%, Odyssey at 6.2%, RGT Planet at 5.5% and other varieties including nullox and distilling sorts making up the rest. This year about 597,000Ha of barley was planted in Denmark, up from 513,000Ha in 2015 but still below the recent peak of 618,000Ha seen in 2012. Expectations are there will be an exportable surplus of 1m MT out of the 2016 crop with 350,000MT already committed. If the premium over feed remains high and Danish farmers can deliver quality grain there’s a possibility this figure could rise as producers sell high quality barley and import lower grade feed from areas where crops have been poorer e.g. France. Next year acreage is expected to be down below the 597,000Ha level thanks to new fertilizer legislation, which experts think will lead farmers to plant more wheat. Sowing was done over a long period in the spring (March 18 to May 5) and is one of the reason the harvest will be so long and varied this season. Harvest has started and is advancing quickly when the sun comes out but is quickly halted when regular rainfall comes to fields with many combines sitting ready to restart next to half cut fields. The first field seen was of Odyssey in Faxe, which was seeded on March 26 with a total of 140KG of nitrogen applied and was expected to return 7.5MT/Ha with good sized kernels seen, a big improvement on crops seen in Sweden.
On the next farm Holgershaab in Guldborgsund the tour heard in May and up to June 23 the farm only received 6mm of rain with second tillering seen as rain has finally come over the last six weeks. The typical yield on farm for malting barley is 7.7MT/Ha with the idea yields will be down by up to 1MT/Ha thanks to the dryness in spring/summer. Harvested Quench looked good with full grains while Evergreen looked a little darker and with more green kernels, which led to its harvest being stopped the day before the tour visited.
At the DLG Silo in Vordingborg the tour heard 5% of barley in the neighboring land had been harvested with results Irina and Quench samples looking excellent. The export terminal here is expanding its draft capacity so it can handle larger ships with the ability to service Panamx vessels coming online after 2020.
On the Lilliendal Estate tour participants heard of yields being reduced from 8MT/Ha to 6MT/Ha thanks to the dryness with grain looking grey due to a lack of sunshine and warmth. In freshly harvested Irina many green kernels were observed but harvest was progressing. For a full list of images from the field please search #rmitour16 on twitter, visit our twitter account or find us on Facebook. And you can see a video from the tour on our YouTube Channel.
This is the third RMI Analytics crop tour of 2016 and we would like to offer our sincere thanks to sponsors Copenhagen Merchants, Danish Agro, Evergrain, DLG, Lantmannen, Sejet and Viking Malt.
Thanks as well go to local farmers and cooperatives who opened their doors to the tour group and shared their passion for the malting barley.
Finally, it’s important to thank the participants, who make this unique malting barley industry networking opportunity such a success.
Scott Casey – Manager of Market Insights and Reporting
Office: +4940609441834 Mobile: +491734132412
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