## The lower harvest of densely sown cereals and rape is affected by the decrease in sown areas and lower yields per hectare

The first estimates indicate a year-on-year decrease in the harvest of densely sown cereals by more than 14%. However, yields per hectare of almost all cereals will exceed their 5-year average.

The expected total harvest of densely sown cereals at the level of 2.7 mil. tons should be lower by almost 460 thous. tons compared to last year's final harvest. The year-on-year decrease by over 14% was mainly due to a significantly lower cultivated area of wheat.

The total sown area of densely sown cereals was 506.9 thous. ha, which is about 43 thous. ha less than last year. The year-on-year decrease in sown areas is at the level of 7.8%. Similarly, the rape harvest should decrease by 22% year-on-year. Approximately 420 thous. tons should be harvested, with an expected yield of 2.95 tons per hectare. This follows from the first estimate of the yield, processed by the Statistical Office of the SR on the basis of data surveyed as of June 20 2024.

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Last year´s favorable weather supported fertility and the yields per hectare of all cereals thus significantly exceeded the last five years´ average. Although the warm spring weather this year also enabled earlier ripening of cereals and rape, intense precipitation and alternating temperatures before this year's harvest may eventually affect the total harvest. Although farmers expect a year-on-year decrease in yields, the estimated crop yields per hectare with the exception of barley and rape should exceed the last five years´ averages^{1)}.

### A decrease in cultivated areas of wheat

The most frequently cultivated cereal in Slovakia- **wheat**, which represents more than two-thirds of the areas of densely sown cereals, is grown on an area of 349 000 ha this year. This is a significantly smaller area compared to last year (by almost 14%). The average yield per hectare should reach 5.65 tons of wheat per hectare, which is less than in 2023, when yields reached the level of 6.12 tons per hectare. However, it is a 4.8% higher yield than the five year average^{1)}. Thus the total wheat harvest should reach almost 2 million tons.

The total harvest of the second most cultivated densely sown cereal- **barley**, should reach 637 thous. tons, which is by 5.6% more than last year. This will be the result of a larger sown area year-on-year (the area is higher by almost 12%). The average expected production of 5 tons per hectare of barley is lower by 0.3 tons than last year's level and at the same time is approximately at the level of the five-year average.

In case of expected yields, this is the first estimate, that will be adjusted according to the development of climatic conditions in further estimates

### The production of oats and triticale will also significantly increase

Higher yields are expected for oats and triticale. This year´s oats harvest could reach 35.4 thous. tons, which is by 74% more than last year. The significant increase of harvest is caused by the increase in sown areas by almost 21% to this year's level of 12.2 thous. ha with the current increase in yield per hectare, which is expected at the level of 2.9 tons per hectare. This year´s yield is higher than the last year's value, at the same time it is higher than the five-year average^{1)}.

A similar increase in triticale is expected, the area of which will increase by almost 20% year-on-year to the level of 10.3 thous. ha. The total production of this cereal should reach the level of 42.9 thous. tons, which is a year-on-year increase by 44%. This increase in production is therefore due to an increase in the sown area and also an increase in yields per hectare, which will exceed last year's level as well as the five-year average and reach the level of 4.17 tons per hectare.

The sown area of **rye **decreased significantly year-on-year from 11.8 thous. to 8.3 thous. hectares. Its harvest should reach 32.7 thous. tons, which represents 93% of the value of last year's production. However, the expected yield of 3.94 tons per hectare is higher compared to last year, but also to the five-year average^{1)}.

The expected total harvest of **rapeseed **(winter and spring together) at the level of 420 thous. tons represents 78% of the production level from last year, as a result of a slight decrease in the sown areas (by 4%), but mainly a lower hectare yield of 2.95 tons per hectare (lower by 18% year-on-year). At the same time, it is by 0.2 tons per hectare less than the last five years´ average^{1)}.