The Czech Republic faces a storage crisis as farmers struggle to find space to store their excess harvest. According to the Czech Statistical Office, the country is expected to harvest around seven million tons of grain this year, a decrease of 8.1% compared to last year. However, farmers will still have up to a million tons left over from last year’s harvest that they have been unable to sell.
The Czech Agricultural Union has warned about the problem since April, stating that 40% more grain is in storage than the previous year. The Union attributes this to the import of grain from Ukraine, which has caused a halt in exports. The Czech Republic annually exports a significant portion of its production.
The Union’s spokesperson, Vladimir Picha, has warned that the country’s storage capacity, approximately eight million tons, will not be enough. If this year’s harvest meets the Statistical Office’s estimate, a million tons of grain will remain unsold due to the lack of space.
The first estimate by the Czech Statistical Office indicates that the lower yield this year is due to poorer hectare yields. Winter wheat yields are expected to drop by 6.1% to 4.639 million tons, while spring barley is expected to decrease by 15% to 957,000 tons. Winter barley is expected to decrease by 4.4% to 718,000 tons, and spring wheat is expected to decrease by 38.3% to 154,000 tons.
Triticale, a cross between rye and wheat, is expected to yield 2.5% less or 203,000 tons. The harvest of oats is expected to be 12.5% lower at 147,000 tons, while the yield of rye is expected to decrease by 7.5% to 119,000 tons.
Despite the challenges, some crops are expected to yield more than last year. Rapeseed is expected to increase by 4.9% to 1.223 million tons. However, the situation remains uncertain, and further developments depend on the weather.
The storage crisis has highlighted the need for better planning and management of the country’s agricultural production. It is vital to address the issues farmers face to ensure that they are not left with unsold produce and to ensure food security for the country.