## The yield of grain maize will be the smallest in the last 15 years, there will be more cereals and rape than the last year

The second estimate reduced the yield of cereals by almost 2%, most significantly for oats. On the contrary, it exceeded the expected rape yield by more than 6%. Yields per hectare above the 5-year average are expected for cereals, rape, peas and potatoes. Yields per hectare of grain maize dropped by 42%, year-on-year.

In this year, the yield of densely sown cereals in Slovakia should reach 2.7 million tons, which is by 1.3% (35.8 thousand tons) more than a year ago, and at the same time it should exceed the average of the last five years. The overall growth of the yield of cereals was mainly influenced by the year-on-year larger sown area, which ensured a higher yield of the most cultivated cereal in Slovakia - wheat. The second estimate of the yield of cereals is lower by 1.7% than the first estimate from June this year.

The SOSR is currently publishing this year's second estimate of the yield of selected agricultural crops in 2022, carried out as of 15 August. "The second estimate adjusts yield expectations at a time when most cereals and rape have already been harvested. The estimate of the sunflower, maize and beet yield will be adjusted in the estimates in September," explained Peter Danko, the Director of the Agricultural Statistics Department of the Statistical Office of the SR.

### Yields per hectare for wheat, rye and oats at the level of 5-year averages

Wheat and barley also represented the absolute majority (95%) of the sown areas with densely sown cereals in Slovakia this year. For wheat, rye, oats and triticale, farmers expect a yield per hectare at the level of the 5-year average; only for barley they expect a yield by one tenth higher than the value of the 5-year average.

In 2022, the wheat yield should reach 2.1 million tons, which is by 4.2% more than the last year. The year-on-year increase in the estimated wheat production was mainly influenced by larger sown areas by 14.9% (53 thousand hectares). In the last year, wheat was thus sown on the largest area since 2016. Yields at the level of 5.1 tons per hectare were lower than in 2021, but they reached the level of the 5-year average. The expected barley yield in the volume of 560 thousand tons should be by 5.5% lower year-on-year. This fact was mainly affected by the lower sown area compared to the last year, but the yield per hectare (5.2 tons per ha) is better than a year ago and above the 5-year average. The sown area under barley was the smallest since 2000.

A year-on-year lower yield of rye, oats and triticale is also expected, mainly due to the reduction of the sown area.

### Maize with record declines

The total production of the second most cultivated cereal, grain maize, should reach 797.6 million tons, which is approximately half (50.1%) of the last year's yield. The decrease is the result of a lower sown area (by 13.5%) but also a record low yield per hectare. Yields of grain maize will reach only 4.5 tons per hectare, which is by 42% less than the last year, and at the same time it is significantly less than the five-year average (7.6 tons per hectare). "Lower total volume of yield and hectare yields than it is expected by farmers this year was recorded in 2007 last time," P. Danko added. The maize yield will be adjusted in the third estimate of yield in September.

### Sunflower and soybean with a significant decrease in yield

Compared to the last year, farmers also expect a decrease in the sunflower yield, to the level of 163.7 thousand tons, which is by 16.1% less year-on-year. The drop in production is related to a significant decrease in yields per hectare to the level of 2.2 tons per hectare, which is below the level of the last year and the five-year average (2.7 tons per hectare).

In this year, the soybean yield is expected to be at the level of 127.4 thousand tons, which is by more than a fifth less than the last year. The decrease in the total yield was not prevented even by an increase in sown areas to the level of 67.9 thousand ha, which represents an increase by 6.1% compared to 2021, due to a significant drop in yield per hectare to the level of 1.9 tons per hectare, which is below the five-year average of 2.4 tons per hectare.

On the contrary, a slight year-on-year increase in the rapeseed production is expected by 6% to a total level of 445.1 thousand tons, which is caused by a rise in sown areas by 4.2% (142.1 thousand ha), with a slight increase in yields per hectare to the level of 3.1 tons per hectare.

### Potatoes with year-on-year lower yield per hectare

The cultivation areas of potatoes also decreased by almost 10% in this year. At the same time, a year-on-year decrease in yields per hectare is expected to the level of 24.4 tons per hectare, which will ultimately cause a year-on-year decrease in the expected potato yield by 14.1% to a production volume of 111.8 thousand tons. Overall, potatoes are grown to the level of 4.6 thousand per hectare in the current season.

Technical sugar beet was sown on an area of 19.2 thousand ha, which is by 12.7% less than the last year. We assume that the average yield per hectare will fall significantly, to the level of 44.8 tons per hectare, which is significantly less than the last year and the 5-year average (59.1 tons per hectare). For this reason, we therefore expect a year-on-year drop in the yield by 37% to the level of 859.6 thousand tons.

The area of peas sown (edible and fodder together) increased by 12.6% compared to the last year. At the same time, we expect an increase in yields per hectare to 2.8 tons per hectare, which is more, compared to the last year and the five-year average (2.4 tons per hectare). These facts will therefore affect the increase of the total expected yield to 35.1 thousand tons, which is over a third more than the last year.