Crop Report Germany 2017 November

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Malting Barley Harvest Report for Germany 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen.

This 2017 malting barley crop report by the Braugersten-Gemeinschaft e.V. (German Malting Barley Association) is based on random samples of the German 2017 spring barley harvest. The sampling was conducted by the various Agriculture Institutes and Chambers of Agriculture in the German states. While this year’s harvest forecasts were compiled from expert estimates of average harvest quantities and qualities, this report is based on an analysis of actual harvest results in the different states.

Because the 2017 harvest has been very heterogeneous and was interrupted by a prolonged period of rain, it was much more difficult this year to arrive at a valid qualitative assessment of the harvest, which is the reason for the unusual delay of the final report. In the attached table, next to the column with average protein values, we have added a column showing the percentages of the harvested quantities with protein values of 10% to 11.5%. A comparison between the two columns illustrates the wide variation of protein values outside the “normal range” this year.

The area of spring barley cultivated in Germany this year was unchanged from the previous year, at 340,000 hectares. The key weather factors this year were very low levels of winter precipitation and relatively high levels of N-min in the soils in the spring. As a result, the plants absorbed available nitrogen fairly late in the growing cycle, which in turn, accounted for above-average protein values in all German growing areas. While the strictly average protein content for two-row spring barley was a still-acceptable 11.2% (10.1% in 2016), in some growing regions more than 50% of the harvest had protein values well above the optimum range preferred by the brewing industry. Both the yield and the plumpness rate (kernel diameter of ≥2.5 mm) exceeded forecasts. The average yield was 5.54 MT/ha (it was 5.41 MT/ha in 2016) and the average plumpness rate was 92.4% (it was 91.6% in 2016). The German Malting Barley Association estimates the volume of German malting-quality barley from the 2017 harvest to be approximately 1.2 million MT. For barley harvested after the rains, poor phytosanitary conditions often translated into a downgrading of barley quality, which has already lead to some players in the brewing industry to lower their acceptability criteria with regard to protein values and other serious quality defects, which often become apparent only after the harvested goods are in storage.

The key spring barley varieties planted in Germany in 2017 were Avalon, Soloist, Quench, Propino, Catamaran, Grace, and RGT Planet

For the Braugersten-Gemeinschaft e.V.

Walter König

Attachment: German Spring Barley Harvest Report (Table)



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