Crop Report #1 German 2018 Spring Barley
The planting of spring barley in Germany is now complete. Based on reported seed sales, as well as initial estimates by the German Brewing Federation, the Braugersten-Gemeinschaft e.V. (German Malting Barley Association) is now able to publish its first preliminary estimate of the German 2018 spring barley acreage, even though official statistics are not yet available. In the current crop year, it is estimated that some 360,000 ha of spring barley are under cultivation.
A mild winter with plenty of rain and sunshine, followed by a rather late and icy finale, determined much of the planting conditions in the spring of 2018. From mid-March to early April, only very few hectares could be sown. Temperatures were simply too cold; the soils, too wet; and conditions, too difficult. Especially in Thuringia and Lower Saxony, the planting of larger amounts of spring barley had to be delayed until shortly before Easter. In many other regions, planting was virtually impossible until April 1. However, a change in weather brought spring-like, even near-summer temperatures after Easter. This allowed the soils to dry up quickly, after which the sowing of spring barley could take place under optimal conditions, albeit in a very compact timeframe during calendar weeks 16 and 17. The stocks responded well and emerged rapidly. Below-average precipitation in April encouraged the young plants to develop sound roots. As of this reporting date, there was no drought damage in the fields.
Because of a wet fall in 2017 with its difficult planting conditions for winter crops, there is now more acreage available for 2018 summer crops. The various state barley associations, therefore, forecast a slight increase of roughly 6% in available German summer barley acreage. However, because the required amount of seeds was not available for this unplanned acreage expansion, and because spring barley had been planted in many areas that had originally been earmarked for other crops, in the end, the actual brewing barley acreage will probably have increased only slightly.
Among the barley varieties planted this year, Avalon, Quench, Solist, and Catamaran dominate. These varieties are also recommended by the Berlin Program. In addition, several other varieties, such as RGT Planet, are cultivated under contracts.
The next crop report will be issued towards the end of May.
For the Braugersten-Gemeinschaft e.V.