Empty ears

Empty ears

If only he had known earlier. Klaus siegelin stands on one of his last fields full of winter barley between tiefenklein and kups. It only takes a few seconds and he has two ears in his hand, one of which he knows will become valuable animal feed – but the other is useless. They are hard to distinguish by color. The layman would consider it a healthy field. But if you weigh the ears briefly in your hand and apply a little pressure to the place where the corneas had to sit, it quickly becomes clear that something is wrong.

The left ahre is as it should be. The right feels like the other’s shoulder. No grain falls out when the farmer presses the ears together. "You have to trace it, otherwise you can’t understand it." Yes, if only he had known that… He had at least sown the same type of barley in all fields, the slightly later flowering. Then some of it could have been saved. There are only a few days between the empty and the full ear in plant development. In the surrounding fields that have been harvested, what he calls a "total failure" has occurred calls.

Agricultural science speaks of lantern bleeding – a lantern without light. The one night of frost on 11 a.M. Was mainly to blame for the inner emptiness. May, who more than lived up to the ice saints. First the young plants were in water in february and the roots didn’t develop well, he explains. But that would not have been so bad. "The spring development was difficult, but nature can also make up for a lot", he says. But the late frost did the rest for the plants. "The plants are better able to cope with drought." The dry years were not perfect either, especially when the sun really burns down on the barley. But what a late frost does can now be seen in the fields: a total failure.

Klaus siegelin has tested a barley variety this year that has bled a little earlier. All the plants of one variety carried an empty lantern upright in the fields during the bleeding season. Useless for the farmer and the pigs that are supposed to eat it. Of the 20 hectares of winter barley that klaus siegelin has cultivated, maybe five hectares are still salvageable, he calculates. The coarse part ends up this year as energy carrier in the biogas plant melted. Between 400 and 600 euros per hectare the farmer still receives for the grain, which in this condition is worth no more than straw.

Franconia is the worst hit

The farmer from tiefenklein breeds piglets in his barn up on the mountain to sell them later to fattening facilities. Patiently he explains what the failure means for him. He grinds the winter barley in his own mill to feed it later to the pigs. Normally, the grain is just enough to feed the animals for a year. This year he will have to buy heavily.

According to an article in the trade magazine "agrarheute the german barley association has announced initial estimates for the winter barley harvest. Instead of 9.7 million tons as in the previous year, the association is expecting 9.2 million tons nationwide. It sounds small, but it’s true: according to initial reports from the agricultural, forestry and food agencies, the frost has hit farmers in france particularly hard. The more northerly in bavaria, says also farmer sieglin, the worse the harvest was. He points across the field in different directions: schweinfurt. Bamberg. Also a little in kulmbach and bayreuth – to erwin.

By erwin, he doesn’t mean a county, but the county chairman of the farmers’ association, erwin schwarz, whose farm is in burggrub. Schwarz weib that this year it has hit especially the barley. Wheat seems to have suffered little from the cold, thanks to its late flowering period. The situation is worse for triticale and rye. The cereal varieties have suffered similarly to winter barley. For the corn, the head of the district assumes an average crop with a one-week delay in growth. Farmer siegelin is a bit more optimistic. According to the "77" rule of thumb it looks good: the corn was on the 7.7. 77 centimeters high.

The consumer won’t feel a thing from the empty ears, says klaus siegelin with a shrug of his shoulders. At least financially. These are the laws of the market. The price of pork is falling because of the closed tonnies slaughterhouses. A look into the garden shows a different picture. "The cherry trees will hardly bear fruit this year", says county chairman black. Walnut trees, such as the walnut, were almost dead. Most plants survived the frost. But there won’t be many walnuts this year, says erwin schwarz.


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