With a cultivation area of approx. 385,000 ha, the cultivation of spring barley in Germany is significantly below the area of the previous year, which was at 444,200 ha. However, the estimated cultivation area for malting barley remains at the long-term level of approx. 300,000 ha.
According to the report of the German Malting Barley Association (Braugersten-Gemeinschaft) which was published last Friday and which was like always compiled on the basis of the reports of the regional associations for brewing barley in Germany, the mostly cool and wet weather in Germany in May helped to mitigate some of the moisture deficiencies in the soil, as well as some early crop damage caused by a drought earlier in the spring; and most of the plants were able to recover quickly and develop well. This led to an optimistic initial crop report for this year. In regions with sufficient water supplies — but not elsewhere — a subsequent heat wave, which started the last week of June, accelerated crop development after emergence through tillering, booting, inflorescence, and fruiting. However, the uneven availability of moisture will likely result in great regional variations in kernel formation and plumpness values.
In regions with late plantings, adequate kernel development all the way to full ripeness are still a possibility, provided there will be enough precipitation in the weeks to come. Early plantings, on the other hand, will probably not benefit from any further rainfall as the recent dry spell and heat wave have already pushed the crops to the ripeness stage.
As a broad generalization, German spring barley stocks appear healthy. There were sporadic incidents of leaf diseases this growing season, which, however, were kept in check by phytosanitary measures.
By and large, the varieties planted this year follow the recommendations of the Berlin Program. The key varieties plented in 2019 were Avalon, Quench, Accordine, Leandra, Solist, and RGT Planet.