In Germany, UFOP reports that the soy area in the EU has risen 4% compared to 2018 and even tripled over the past 10 years, with the most significant growth in Germany and with the most soybeans grown in Italy.
According to Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (AMI), the large increases in soy area in many EU regions will result in larger harvests. In Germany, the harvest could rise almost one third to 78,000 tonnes. Despite the big increase in area in Croatia, the Croatian harvest is expected to fall 2 per cent short of last year’s crop due to weather-induced drops in yield. Romania will presumably also harvest fewer soybeans, although the land devoted to growing soybeans increased compared to 2018. The EU projects the biggest decline in production, of 17 per cent, for Hungary. This is not surprising, however, given the 10 per cent decline in area.
From the perspective of the Union zur Förderung von Oel- und Proteinpflanzen (UFOP), the increase to 30,000 hectares in Germany is a good piece of news. UFOP calls for an adequate expansion of the subsidies policy for domestic protein plants that aims at advancing not only soybeans, but grain legumes in general as a GM-free source of protein. Moreover, the association argues that grain legumes should also be taken into account in the German government’s agricultural strategy expected for the autumn of 2019 as an essential element of local crop rotation systems.