Estonian farmers predict a poor crop harvest

Grain harvest has begun in Estonia, and although there will be enough grain for local needs, farmers already indicate that the harvest will be smaller due to the drought and the grain quality will be lower than usual, writes ERR News.
Farmers say that due to the drought, the heads of wheat are shorter and contain fewer grains. In addition, this year the harvest is also not uniform, as cereals ripen at different speeds even in the same field. For now, however, no shortage of crops is predicted. Tartu Mill’s purchasing manager Rauno Viljas said that Tartu Mill needs 100,000 tons of grain per year, and in good conditions, Estonia grows an average of 750,000 tons of wheat. So there will be no shortage of grain in Estonia.

However, it is also a matter of quality that affects the price.

Not much good wheat for bread is expected this year. Crops ripen unevenly. In drier parts of the countryside it matures faster, but in wetter areas, it is still green.
Kalle Hamburg, head of the Estonian Farmers’ Federation, stated: “You need good quality wheat to make bread. And these quality requirements can only be met if the crop is uniformly ripe.” Last year’s harvest was one-fifth higher than the year before.
Hamburg said that the yield is low, the quality is below average, and the cost of harvesting and drying is higher than in other years.

Hamburg added that the harvests in Finland, Latvia, Poland, and Bulgaria are also only half or a third of what was expected.

At the moment, the main issue is preparing for next year. The European Union farmers’ organization Copa-Copega is likely to ask the European Commission for support.