Crop Report #2: German 2019 Spring Barley
Based on assessments by the German state agricultural associations involved with brewing barley, the Braugersten-Gemeinschaft e.V. (German Malting Barley Association) has compiled this second status report for the German 2019 spring barley crop. The combined acreage under spring barley cultivation in Germany is about 350,000 ha, which is substantially lower than last year’s. However, the area expected to yield barley of malting quality is estimated to be around 300,000 ha, which is roughly the same as the long-term average.
This year, the weather in Germany, in May, was mostly cool and wet. In many regions, this helped to mitigate some of the moisture deficiencies in the soil, as well as some early crop damage caused by a drought earlier in the spring; and most of the plants were able to recover quickly and develop well. This led to an optimistic initial crop report for this year. In regions with sufficient water supplies — but not elsewhere — a subsequent heat wave, which started the last week of June, accelerated crop development after emergence through tillering, booting, inflorescence, and fruiting. However, the uneven availability of moisture will likely result in great regional variations in kernel formation and plumpness values.
In regions with late plantings, adequate kernel development all the way to full ripeness are still a possibility, provided there will be enough precipitation in the weeks to come. Early plantings, on the other hand, will probably not benefit from any further rainfall as the recent dry spell and heat wave have already pushed the crops to the ripeness stage.
As a broad generalization, German spring barley stocks appear healthy. There were sporadic incidents of leaf diseases this growing season, which, however, were kept in check by phytosanitary measures.
By and large, the varieties planted this year follow the recommendations of the Berlin Program. The key varieties plented in 2019 were Avalon, Quench, Accordine, Leandra, Solist, and RGT Planet.
The 2019 spring barley harvest forecast of the German Malting Barley Association will be released after several upcoming crop tours and barley information events in the different German federal states. The dates for these events are available on the web at www.braugerstengemeinschaft.de.