“The favourable weather may result in a slightly higher corn output this year compared to last year, and may enable farmers to harvest roughly the same amount of sunflower seeds as last year”, Minister of State for Agriculture Zsolt Feldman from the Ministry of Agriculture (MA) explained.

The expected average yields per hectare are favourable and exceed the average of the past five years, the Minister of State emphasised after a meeting of the Harvest Coordination Committee. As he explained, corn has been harvested in 13 percent of the nearly 900,000-hectare production area. So far, the average yield has been 7.6 tons per hectare as opposed to 6.8 tons last year. Due to the weather and the amount of precipitation, this year’s expected output is just under 7 million tons again, as opposed to 6.62 million tons last year, Mr. Feldman said.

Roughly 75% of the sunflower crop have been harvested in all 604,000 hectares and this year’s average output is 3 tons per hectare, just like last year. Farmers may harvest an estimated 1.8 million tons of sunflower, the State Secretary added. Regarding soybeans, crops have been harvested in 20 percent of the 60,000-hectare production area. The yield per hectare is approximately 2.5 tons. Potatoes have been collected in 74 percent of the area with an average yield of 24.6 tons per hectare. Harvest has also begun in the sugar beet fields. 19,000 tons have been harvested in 2% of over 15,000 hectares, Mr Feldman said.

Europe has a demand market, the State Secretary explained. Germany produced an estimated 38 percent less corn than last year and Poland experienced an almost 15 percent drop in its overall cereal output. Such losses, coupled with local requirements, give rise to a considerable demand for Hungarian crops, he said.

Mr. Feldman said farmers reported various damage events in 170,000 hectares, while the drought has increased the size of the affected areas to 80,000 hectares in recent weeks.

The amount of rainfalls has brought about a high diversity of corn and sunflower yields across Hungary, even within individual farms, said Tamás Petőházi, President of the National Association of Cereal Producers (NACP). He also said that sowing should begin in time. Canola seeds have been sowed in 90 percent of next year’s fields, winter barley seeds have been sowed in 3-5 percent so far, and autumn hybrid wheat will be sowed within a few days. Winter wheat seeds were sowed in 950,000 hectares as opposed to this year’s expected 968,000 hectares.

This spring witnessed a change in cereal prices as the typical price has been approximately 40,000 forints per ton in the past three years and the harvest season started at 3-4,000 forints higher, Mr. Petőházi emphasised. Currently, wheat prices begin at 55,000 forints per ton and high-quality or ameliorative wheat is sold for 58-60,000 forints in the markets. Corn prices began at 46,000 forints per ton.

(MTI/Ministry of Agriculture)