Analysis Grains

Temperature is good, but sunshine is lacking for grains

June 20, 2024 - Jurphaas Lugtenburg

Rain is for a change not only an important topic for wheat growers in Europe. DRV has made small adjustments to the harvest forecast for grain in Germany. Due to the wet weather, the disease pressure is high according to the cooperative association. In the American state of Kansas, showers have caused significant damage locally, just as the harvest is in full swing. Corn growers and the oil industry in the US have joined forces in the fight against climate plans of the American President Biden.

The September contract for wheat on the Matif closed €1.50 higher at €230.50 per ton yesterday. The Chicago exchange was closed yesterday due to the American holiday Juneteenth.

The German cooperative association DRV came out yesterday with a new yield expectation for grains and rapeseed. DRV expects a total of 42 million tons of grain to be harvested in Germany. In the previous May forecast, the estimate was 41.8 million tons. The yield of winter wheat - the largest grain crop in Germany - is estimated by DRV at 19.6 million tons. The harvest would thus be 7.2% lower than last season. The total wheat harvest is estimated at 20.3 million tons, or 5.5% less than last season. The yield estimate for rapeseed has remained the same as last month, at 3.9 million tons.

Due to sufficient moisture and mild temperatures, the grains are developing well. "The sometimes heavy rainfall has caused considerable damage regionally. However, this has little impact on the total harvest," says Guido Seedler, the grain specialist at DRV in the explanation of the figures. What is lacking this season is sunshine. "The growth and thus both the quality and quantity of the harvest are strongly dependent on the hours of sunshine. This year it is lower than in previous years," according to Seedler. Due to the moist weather, the disease pressure is high. DRV is particularly concerned about fusarium. If the coming days become warmer and especially dry, the harvest of winter barley in southern Germany can begin. Further north and east, it will take until July before the combines can start in the winter barley.

Muddling after drought damage
In the US, the harvest train is delayed by showers in parts of Kansas. Thunderstorms with heavy rain and hail have wreaked havoc in some places in the state. "It's ironic that we're now struggling with the combines while the wheat yield is disappointing due to drought," says a grower to local news channel KSNW. The differences in yield are significant. A branch manager of the grain intake point in Central Kansas tells KSNW that yields in his region are disappointing and he hopes to match last year's yield. In eastern Kansas, yields are actually much better than last year. Due to a drier autumn and sufficient rain in the spring, the wheat there looks much better. However, there are more reports of hail and frost damage.

Struggle against electrification
Advocates of the oil and corn industry have come together in the fight against the climate plans of the American President Biden. According to the American Petroleum Institute (API) and The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), there is too much emphasis on the electrification of cars and trucks. According to the interest groups, this causes economic damage. API has therefore filed a lawsuit this week against the federal environmental agency EPA. Now the NCGA has also joined in. "The EPA is trying to impose a one-size-fits-all approach to addressing climate change by prioritizing electric vehicles over other climate measures such as corn ethanol," says Harold Wolle, chairman of the NCGA. This is somewhat remarkable because the oil industry and corn growers were previously at odds over the mandatory blending percentages for biofuels in gasoline and diesel.

Jurphaas Lugtenburg

Jurphaas Lugtenburg is a market specialist in onions, carrots, and commodities such as wheat, corn, and soybeans at DCA Market Intelligence. He combines his degree in business administration with a passion for farming.
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