Grain yields were poor in Latvia last year

Central Statistical Bureau data published on February 16 show that 2.7 million tonnes of grain were harvested in Latvia in 2023, which is 527.8 thousand tonnes or 16.3 % fewer than in 2022.

Last year, the total cereal area grew by 17.2 thousand hectares or 2.2 %, however, the cereal yield was negatively affected by unfavorable weather conditions resulting in the lowest yield produced in the past five years – 34.1 quintals per hectare.

The monthly precipitation in June was 67 % below the normal, thus making June 2023 the second driest June recorded in meteorological observations. The monthly precipitation in August, in contrast to the dry June, was 88 % above the normal.

In 2023, compared to 2022, the harvested production of winter cereals reduced by 390.2 thousand tonnes or 15.7 % and fell to 2.1 million tonnes. The average yield of winter cereals dropped from 48.7 quintals from hectare in 2022 to 41.3 quintals in 2023, making it the lowest yield harvested since 2018 (41.0 quintals).

Last year, a total of 2 677.2 thousand tonnes of grain were purchased, which is 85.6 thousand tonnes or 3.1 % fewer than a year ago. The average purchase price of grain fell significantly – from EUR 286.59 per tonne in 2022 to EUR 208.39 per tonne in 2023.

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The area of potato plantations has diminished significantly over the past 13 years – from 30.1 thousand hectares in 2010 to 14.0 thousand hectares in 2023. In 2023, a total of 258.1 thousand tonnes of potatoes were harvested, which is 11.4 thousand tonnes or 4.6 % more than a year ago. The average yield of potatoes from one hectare grew by 18.3 quintals or 11.0 % and reached 184 quintals, which is the highest yield in the past three years (208 quintals in 2020).

Last year, a total of 111.0 thousand tonnes of vegetables were produced (including in greenhouses), which is 4.5 thousand tonnes or 3.9 % fewer than in 2022. The production of vegetables in greenhouses reduced by 2.1 thousand tonnes or 2.1 %. Irrespective of a higher yield of open-field vegetables from one hectare (up by 6.8 quintals or 4.3 %), the harvested production thereof fell by 4.5 thousand tonnes or 3.9 %.

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