Final German 2020 Brewing Barley Crop Report
The Agriculture Institutes and Chambers of Agriculture in all German states have now completed their assessments of the 2020 spring barley harvest. Likewise, the stake holders in the trade chain, including the maltsters, have finished their evaluations of the current crop. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, the details of their analyses could not be presented in person this year at the usual end-of-year brewing barley information events. Nonetheless, the Braugersten-Gemeinschaft e.V. (the German Brewing Barley Association) has now compiled its final harvest report for the 2020 crop, based on all available information.
Compared to earlier summaries presented in the first harvest report for the current crop, the numbers have since improved slightly because of the availability of more data. The average yield per hectare is now 5.42 metric tons (MT) compared to a previously reported 5.39 MT. This brings the total harvest of spring barley up to 1.904 MT (previously 1.88 MT). Compared to earlier forecasts, there is also an encouraging increase in the number of lots with a protein content in the 9 to 11.5% range, which translates into additional amounts of spring barley of optimal malting and brewing quality.
At an advisory board meeting of the Braugersten-Gemeinschaft, experts from various state agencies also made an initial and tentative forecast for the 2021 EU crop year. Because of a lack of price incentives throughout much of the EU at planning time, as well as favorable weather conditions for fall plantings, there will likely be fewer hectares devoted to spring barley cultivation next year. The one exception is Germany, where the total area is projected to remain virtually unchanged in 2021, mostly because of several positive factors that have bolstered malting barley prices there.