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Harvest season to start late this year

The harvest season, traditionally beginning with the harvest of barley, will start at least two weeks later in 2019, for weather-related reasons, says a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

Usually the season kicks off around the last week of June, but due to the cold weather in May, crops are still not ripe, says Gábor Halmos, CEO of state-owned warehousing firm Concordia Közraktár. Moreover, wet soil might not be able to handle the pressure of combine harvester machines, he adds.

Another sign pointing to a delay is that while farmers tend to sign contracts with warehouses and traders 1-2 weeks prior to the planned harvest, they are still sitting on the fence for the moment.

Concordia says that the quality of crops is also uncertain. If warm, dry weather persists in the coming couple of weeks, there is a high possibility of good quality and high gluten content. However, in the case of ongoing heavy rainfall, the harvest might be pushed back even further, resulting in weaker quality.

The largest producers on the global market, such as the United States, Russia, and Ukraine, have all reported yields exceeding those of last year, but in Hungary the yield will likely be lower than recent averages. For this reason, crop traders have not yet determined their prices, awaiting the results of the first quality checks. Halmos adds that the stabilizing force of depot services is in high demand in times like these, so that Concordia is optimistic about its business this year.