Cold winter, spring drought, summer rain contribute to poor quality
Livestock farmers in Germany have been replacing barley with wheat in their animal feed due to a cold winter, springtime drought and summer rain that have resulted in a decline in the size and quality of the country’s barley harvests, according to reports.
According to the farm ministry, estimates on the winter barley crop have fallen 21.6% to 6.76 million metric tons. “Wheat is expected to increasingly replace barley, which is in short supply, in feeding troughs in the EU,” said German grain trading house Toepfer International. And while the spring barley crop estimate is up 18.1% to 2.01 million metric tons, harvest-time rain could hurt quality, according to experts.