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Czech Republic Grains, Rapeseed Forecast Lower

16 August 2012
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

CZECH REPUBLIC - Farmers in the Czech Republic so far have harvested approximately 25 per cent of all grains and over 60 per cent of rapeseed crops. Yields vary among different regions, however, on average they are lower compared to the previous year. Total grain production is forecast approximately 20 per cent lower compared to previous year.

According to the latest crop estimates issued by the Czech Statistical Office, the average yield of grains reaches 4.43 MT/ha, which is 1.17 MT/ha less compared to previous year. The lowest yields are currently in the South-Moravian Region and in the Plzen Region.

The diversity of kinds of grains grown in the Czech Republic has been continuously declining. The largest areas cover wheat (56.4 per cent of the total grains area), barley (26.5 per cent) and corn (7.6 per cent).

Rapeseed became the second most spread crop in the Czech Republic. Its area has been expanding every year. As well as wheat, rapeseed has been a profitable commodity with a good export potential for Czech farmers.

Quality of grains and rapeseed seems to be satisfactory, thanks to favorable weather conditions during the harvest. The drop in yields this year was caused by severe frosts combined with a lack of snow cover in winter and exceptional draught in spring.

Wheat: Being the main crop in the Czech Republic, wheat sowing area reaches 815 thousand hectares: 746 thousand hectares of winter wheat and 69 thousand ha of spring wheat. With average yields of 4.62 MT/ha and 4.03 MT/ha respectively, total wheat production is estimated at 3.727 MMT. This amount of wheat should satisfy domestic demand and should provide for limited exportable surplus.

Barley: Sowing area of barley increased to current 382 hectares, consisting of 98 thousand ha of winter barley and 284 ha of spring barley. Total barley production is forecast at 1,649 thousand MT, which should provide sufficient exportable surplus of malting barley.

Oats: Production of oats will slightly increase, reaching 171 thousand MT, thanks to increased sowing area totaling 51 thousand hectares.

Corn: Acreage of corn remained almost unchanged in comparison to previous year, reaching 110 hectares.

Rapeseed: Sowing area of rapeseed broke records again, exceeding for the first time 400 thousand hectares (totaling at 401,000 hectares). The yield estimate shows only a slight drop by 0.02 per cent to 2.78 MT/ha and so the total production will develop to 1,117 thousand hectares. Oil content of rapeseed is seen as satisfactory.

Prices: Price development of crops copies the one of the European and world markets. Increasing prices of grains that are caused by drop in production in draught affected countries might negatively impact Czech livestock farmers, who have been hurt already by rising prices of other inputs and lack of subsidies into animal production.

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