Lower Saxony's grain-growing area at an all-time low

HANOVER. The small grain area is the most striking feature of this year's grain year. As reported by the State Office for Statistics Lower Saxony (LSN), the area under cereal cultivation (excluding grain maize) in Lower Saxony reached 744,000 hectares in 2020, the lowest amount since 1948. The yield per hectare of grain was also lower in many regions of the country in 2020.
In a typical year with spring drought, the yields on the good soils of the marshland in Lower Saxony have always been very good in earlier years, but the marshes have not been able to improve the country's grain balance this year. In these regions, of all things, it was the wet autumn of 2019 that made it difficult or even impossible to cultivate wheat on some marshland. As a result, the less productive summer cereals were used in some marshland areas or patchy winter wheat stocks were repaired with spring wheat or spring barley. The smaller areas with fresh seeds attracted wild geese, which also cost revenue and caused extra work.
On the good clay soils in southern Lower Saxony, the yield was mostly pleasing in 2020.Compared to the average of six 'normal years' (2012 to 2017) with 81 to 90 dt / ha, in Salzgitter, Goslar, Northeim, Hameln-Pyrmont and Holzminden even increases in yields per hectare were recorded.
The broad 'sand belt' between the marshes and the Bördeboden, on the other hand, could only achieve good yields from the grain irrigation. However, when the irrigation capacity is limited, farmers prefer to irrigate the 'cash crops', i.e. potatoes, malting barley and beets. The year 2020 is now the third year in a row with very low yields, especially on the sandy soils. With the emerging climate change and new fertilizer restrictions, it is likely to become more and more difficult to harvest adequate yields on these weak soils.
© 2020 State Office for Statistics Lower Saxony
Press office, Göttinger Chaussee 76, 30453 Hanover
Hansa Terminhandel GmbH
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