Sweden to experience worst grain harvest in 15 years

Sweden is expected to suffer the worse grain harvest in 15 years due to unfavorable weather conditions during the sowing season and the summer, the Swedish Board of Agriculture said on Thursday.

The board predicts that the total grain harvest for 2010 is to total 4.8 million tons, about 8 percent lower than that in 2009 and 3 percent lower than the average over the past five years.

"This would mean the lowest overall harvest of grain since 1995," the board said in the statement.

The board attributes the reasons for the poor harvest to the cold winter and warm and dry summer.

"Changeable weather during the cultivation season, combined with snow covered fields has impacted autumn crops while the dry hot summer has primarily hit sensitive soil, affecting growth," the board explained.

The board develops its forecast based on weather and crop harvest data from the previous years as well as data over cultivated acreage for 2010.

"After several b years and solid stock levels a poor 2010 harvest is no catastrophe. With Sweden being a small player on the international grain markets the impact on the price of foodstuffs such as bread is likely to be small with harvests in USA, France and Russia more important for price development," said Jimmie Enhall at the board to Swedish news agency TT.

[Source: Xinhua, Stockholm, 19Aug10]

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