Prospects for increasing Norwegian grain cultivation

Prospects for increasing Norwegian grain cultivation

This is Felleskjøpet Agri’s contribution to the parties to the agricultural negotiations.

The role of the grain market regulator is to provide the negotiating parties with a market assessment of food grains and feed grains. This was presented to the Norwegian Farmers Association and the Norwegian Farmers and Small Farmers Association today at the Agricultural Agreements Issues Council.

One of the growth opportunities

More food grains and more carbohydrates and proteins are needed for concentrates. At the same time, the focus should be on producing the right variety and quality.

Last year’s grain harvest in eastern Norway was great, and Velescubet believes that this year we will be self-sufficient in both rye and barley and oats for food.

– We still believe that reaching about 80 percent of the Norwegian wheat quota is possible this season, which is a new record. Felleskjøpet Agri and the joint value chain also aim to increase the production and consumption of Norwegian food wheat. Increased cultivation of food grains is one of the growth opportunities in Norwegian agriculture. The highest possible level of production is also the best preparation we can get, says Ann Jødahl Skuterud, Chairman of the Board at Felleskjøpet Agri.

Join the ambition of 90% of the Norwegian food grain

during Partnership for Grains and Plant Proteins The industry has set itself the goal of having 90% of Norway’s share of flour by 2030 and is working to occupy positions in a market that is severely challenged by imports. Felleskjøpet Agri is asking the parties to the agricultural negotiations to agree to the Food Grain Partnership’s ambition to cover 90% of Norway’s food grain.

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– To achieve this goal, there is a need to increase wheat production, so that the industry has enough raw materials to choose from to make a good flour mixture. Higher wheat production will also indirectly provide better access to forage wheat.

In last year’s agricultural settlement, they encountered very high international prices. Together with compensation through lower prices, this gave scope to increase the prices of Norwegian grain to the farmer in the agricultural settlement last year, without any particular risk of increasing imports in the short term. This has contributed to covering necessary costs and increasing incomes for Norwegian grain farmers.

– Since last year’s negotiations, the world price of wheat has fallen by about NOK 1/kg, and the world price picture is still declining. Skutterud says any increase in the price target for food wheat now must be offset by a corresponding increase in price cuts or subsidies for food grains.

It fears that the lack of compensation risks significantly weakening the market opportunities for Norwegian food grains for the flour and bread industry. Felleskjøpet Agri’s chairman is also calling for the reintroduction of food grain subsidies, which were scrapped last year. This is the subsidy that goes to the Norwegian mills that use Norwegian grain. Last year, the subsidies were lifted due to the rise in global grain prices.

– Now, as I said, prices have fallen. With international grain prices falling, the absence of food grain subsidies will make imports of whole and semi-processed products more favorable. This means that the competitiveness of mills is decreasing. We are afraid to open the doors that create import lines, which, in turn, gain a foothold in the market and remain. We believe that grain subsidies must be reintroduced to ensure the use of Norwegian food grains, says Skotterode.

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In this year’s inputs, FKA will place special emphasis on promoting measures related to reducing emissions from soils, sequestering carbon, improving soil health and good agronomics leading to higher yields and better grain quality.

We are of the opinion that there is a yield gap in wheat and it should be incentivized to close this gap in a sustainable manner. The joint procurement process asks the parties to prioritize measures that increase yields, which also have positive climate and environmental benefits, referring in particular to drainage, catch crops, and crop rotation.

General priorities

These are Felleskjøpet’s overall priorities in its role as grain market regulator:

  • It must ensure the profitability of grain production
  • To promote local agriculture and ensure the diversity of Norwegian grain producers
  • To develop and create new market opportunities for Norwegian grain
  • To facilitate good agricultural practices that help ensure sustainable grain production

At the same time, Anne Goodall-Skotterode makes it clear that the income for agriculture must be increased.

– Our role in the negotiations is to provide a good assessment of the grain market. She says that it is the negotiations that should solve the income problem.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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