Romain Schneider, Luxembourg's Minister of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development; Credit: MA

Luxembourg's Ministry of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development has confirmed that rainy weather this summer resulted in below-average harvests.

The Minister of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development, Romain Schneider, met with representatives of the sector in Hosingen, in northern Luxembourg, on Monday to take stock of the grain harvest, crop failures and damage caused by the July floods.

The 2021 grain harvest was disappointing in terms of both quantity and quality. The Agriculture Minister and sector representatives noted that the harvest had been constantly interrupted due to the rain and was only progressing slowly. 

Yield expectations were still high at the end of June, but the cool summer with little sunshine led to significant losses in quantity and quality. The grain delivered had significantly lower hectolitre weights. The oil content in rapeseed was also lower than usual and many batches had to be re-dried. A scarce market supply and greater demand have caused global prices to rise. The poor grain harvest can therefore be partially offset by high producer prices. For livestock farms, however, this price development also has a downside, as the price of animal feed is also rising. This is particularly challenging for pig farmers who are facing high feed prices and low meat prices. 

Oats and spelt had greater success due to their reduced susceptibility to disease and very little outgrowth, whilst common wheat suffered yield losses of around 10%.

Regarding seed propagation, the yields of wheat, rye, barley and oats were also below the long-term average, and he legume harvest came close to a total failure.

Nevertheless, Minister Romain Schneider called for more grain to be grown locally in order to meet growing consumer demand.

The Agriculture Minister also remained optimistic about the high grassland yields and the promising maize harvest, which will start much later this year than in previous years. A good potato harvest (in terms of quantity) is also expected.

Minister Romain Schneider concluded by recalling that the floods of 14 and 15 July 2021 had caused a total of €1,650,000 worth of damage to agriculture.