A Luxembourg cereal farmer using a Combine Harvester in Kehlen on 19 July 2022 for his wheat crop;

With yesterday, Tuesday 19 July 2022, being the hottest day of the year to date, with temperatures rising to 36.3C in Findel at 15:50, cereal farmers across the Grand Duchy were frantically trying to harvest their wheat crops before today’s storms hit.

The storms were forecast to arrive in two waves, the first around 08:00 and the longer, more sustained one, from mid-afternoon and extending late into the evening, both bringing thunder, lightning and heavy rain.

Yesterday throughout the day, into the evening and extending into the night, farmers were using combine harvesters to gather the wheat from their fields, to either put into storage or to bring straight to the mill, e.g. the Moulin de Kleinbettingen, where it is processed into flour, semolina and pasta.

Traditionally, the cereals grown in fields across the Grand Duchy are harvested first in the south, with the harvest moving northwards as the crops ripen and gain the correct conditions (humidity, etc.) for harvesting. Usually one combine harvester is supported by a number of tractors pulling open trailers into which the grain is put, with the combine harvester not stopping throughout an entire field, with a number of tractor-loads of wheat (in this case) harvested.

The dry weather of recent weeks has ensured that the wheat had been in prime condition to be harvested. With another week, at least, of fine, dry weather forecast to follow today’s storms, yesterday’s harvest rush was just the first opportunity that farmers had to harvest their crops; temperatures are forecast to range between mid-20s and 33C (next Monday), meaning that Luxembourg’s farmers will just need to wait a few days until they can start to harvest again. However, how much of this year’s yield will be lost to today’s storms? This we will just have to wait and see.