Austrian grain harvest to recover after two drought-affected years

The grain harvest in Austria is expected to return to normal levels in 2019 after two consecutive dry years, the country’s leading agricultural body Agrarmarkt Austria (AMA) said on Tuesday.

Grain production excluding corn is set to reach 2.9 million tons this year with good quality, about 10 percent higher than the previous year, back in line with what would be considered an average annual yield, according to the AMA.

The total production forecast including corn climbs to 5 million tons, about 6 percent higher than last year.

The increase in grain production better meets the country’s growing domestic demand and lessens its need to import from abroad to make up for its shortfall.

The AMA said the improved outlook results from the increase in crop areas for grain varieties that better withstand the effects of climate change, such as winter barley and corn.

A cool and rainy May also saved a significant portion of the harvest. Had the May conditions come in April, the result would have been much worse, according to the AMA.