Total maize cultivation area for harvest in Germany is 2,598 million ha
6% of areas are in very poor condition,
East German areas are particularly badly affected
Kleffmann CropRadar has measured that the total area under maize cultivation in Germany is 2,598 million ha at harvest time. The difference to the cultivated area is therefore only 2.04% - but there are clearly visible regional differences. For example, the drought has had a particularly strong impact in Eastern German federal states - especially in Saxony-Anhalt. The federal state has a difference of 13.37% between cultivated and harvested area.
According to the Federal Statistical Office, Germany's farmers have cultivated a total of 2.652 million hectares of maize in 2019. In contrast, CropRadar's current measurements show a decline of 2.04%. The total area that can be harvested in Germany at present is thus 2,598 million ha.
However, as reported by the German Maize Committee last week (28.08), maize stands very differently this year. This impression is confirmed by the images taken by CropRadar.
Plant development in 2019
Thus, maize has developed much more slowly in some regions than in others. This was also evident in the satellite images. While last year's maize areas were easily identifiable from space with CropRadar at the end of July - despite the equally long drought - they were not identifiable at the same time this year due to the delayed growth. This year, the cold phase in the middle of summer was probably added, as was a much more pronounced drought at the beginning of the emergence season.
Partially catastrophic picture in East Germany
In Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg and Thuringia, some of the areas look catastrophic. The differences are not only visible in the comparison from field to field, but also within the fields (height of growth, holes in the stand). While the cultivated area in Brandenburg was 228,600 ha, the harvestable area is currently only 208,861 ha (-8.63%). The differences between Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt are even clearer. While the cultivated area in Saxony was 104,300 ha, the harvestable area is only 92,312 ha (-11.49%). At a negative value of 13.37%, the losses are highest in Saxony-Anhalt. Here, the area under maize fell from 170,500 hectares originally under cultivation to 147,711 hectares.
The comparison of satellite images of maize areas in Bavaria and Saxony shows clear differences in leaf colouring and stand density.
In total, the losses are put into perspective again. For Germany as a whole, for example, a total of 2% of stocks are in a catastrophic state (very incomplete, presumably no pistons) and a further 3-4% are in a poor state (late development, presumably emergency maturity).
From talks with the farmers, Kleffmann Group has learned that there is a growing willingness to consider alternative crops. The farmers cited soy as a possible option.
What is CropRadar?
With "CropRadar", Kleffmann Group has developed its satellite-based system for digital area exploration. CropRadar provides detailed results of cultivation areas of different main crops such as maize, rape and sunflowers (further crops will follow soon). Users of Kleffmann CropRadar can see with an accuracy of 97 percent for Germany as a whole, down to postcode level, which crops and how many hectares are cultivated by each crop. These data are based on satellite images from the Sentinel 1 and 2 satellites, which are processed by a team of Kleffmann Group experts using artificial intelligence methods. The data are regularly updated so that upheavals can be recognized directly. Read more: https://www.kleffmann.com/en/products--services/kleffmann-cropradar/