The corn area planted decreased by 1.2% from MY 2017/18.
Corn quality in Poland varied widely region to region, noted the authors of the GAIN report.
Moisture content averaged 22% and kernel size was smaller than usually. However, the USDA said there is no threat of fusarium this year.
“The dry weather virtually eliminated any risk of fusarium this year. Polish farmers generally do not irrigate their crops.”
Summary of weather impact
In MY 2018/19, yields and grain quality varied widely from region to region, reported the USDA. Dry matter content averaged about 35%, although it sometimes reached up to 50%. In eastern Poland, yields were higher and the moisture content was lower. The average national moisture content was 22%, ranging from 14% in the west to 25% in eastern regions, said the US agency publication.
Throughout the spring and late summer of 2018, a severe regional drought adversely affected overall grain production in Poland, noted the USDA.
Hot and dry conditions in May and June dried of the top soil and matured the plants too early, thereby limiting production potential, said the authors.
Despite the spring and early summer drought, Poland’s corn crop looked relatively good through July, when rainfall boosted plant development.
However, subsequent dry conditions in August stunted ear development and ultimately led to yield reductions, said the USDA.
History of corn production in Poland
Corn production has a short history in Poland, although it has steadily increased since 2007.
From 2009 to 2014, the country’s corn area increased 250%. Corn production is also expanding into new areas, notable eastern Poland, where previously corn was not a viable crop. Additionally, more advanced inputs and better access to hybrids are raising interest among farmers in raising corn.
The main corn drivers have been the country’s fast-growing poultry industry, and increasing export demand.
Poland’s primary corn users are the feed millers, farmers for on-farm feed, and the biofuel industry.
Total corn consumption in MY 2017/18 was 3.2 million metric tons (MMT), of which almost 90% was used by feed industry and for on-farm animal feed. Domestic human consumption of corn is small and amounts to 25,000 MT
Poland is a net corn exporter.
In the first ten months of MY 2017/18, corn exports in value terms reached $213m.
Corn imports during the same period were $140m. Exports by volume reached 975,000 MT during the first ten months of MY 2017/18, with almost 800,000 MT going to Germany.
Imports by volume during the same period were 255,000 MT.
The USDA forecasts that corn exports will be lower in In MY 2018/19 from the previous year, due to the lower production situation.
An influx of Ukrainian corn imports is likely during the latter half of this MY, according to the Polish Grain and Feed Chamber. Some commercial and processing stakeholders are already reporting significant purchases of Ukrainian corn with expected delivery dates in January 2019.