This year, they started in early July rather than late June. The harvest is in full swing in the Yonne. “We started the harvest on July 6, remembers Thierry Devaux, farmer near Brienon-sur-Armançon. Usually we start around June 20th and today there is exactly 38% left to harvest. Including 180 hectares of wheat. “ Cereals must be brought in quickly by farmers to be stored away from moisture to prevent them from germinating and can no longer be used. If the farmer is still a few days from the end, he is already starting to do the accounts.
Varied yield depending on the production
“Yield level, in barley we are 10% lower on average. In wheat. We are at least over 10%,” lists Thierry Devaux. He is part of a collective of seven farmers, the CEP on board that specializes in soil conservation agriculture. Rapeseed, wheat, barley, peas, hemp and sunflower, their crops are varied. Which gives it an overview of summer crops. On his farm, peas are “pretty ugly,” barley is perfect for making beer, rapeseed has been attacked by insects, and sunflowers by crows. “The results are quite mixed. I spoke with colleagues recently. Overall, yes, we are roughly in the same levels of production and quality.”
A few kilometers west of the CEP du Bord crops, Christophe Bondoux is also satisfied with the quality of his wheat. In two days, he will have finished his harvests and so far all is well. There is only one variable left, the wheat which has been laid down by inclement weather, often of lower quality, and which he has kept for the end. “We have at least 75% of harvested in milling quality. There, we are not too much to be pitied, but me, I am especially worried about the general and global market.”
After the harvest, the sale
Usually the price difference between a good quality wheat, known as miller, and that of inferior quality, used for fodder is only about ten euros per tonne. But if the stocks of fodder wheat increase too much on the scale of France, the prices can widen to 50 euros of difference. “In the Yonne, we do not have the majority of the production of France, obviously, explains Christophe Bondoux. The east of France, the north of France, are the big producing regions. And until we know how much the quality deteriorated in them, we don’t know if the prices will soar or crash. “
Quality is the protein content of the cereal, if it is dry and not sprouted. On these points, the weather is very important. So until the last moment, the farmers remain on their guard. Earlier in the year, Christophe Bondoux thought that the harvest would be very good, today he is more careful. “That’s the lesson we can learn from this year, he laughs. The harvest is not assured, even if the grains are fine, even if the fields appear particularly beautiful for the year. As long as we are not at the harvest and everything is not safe, there is nothing for granted. “
Thierry Devaux and his collective, them, always put all the chances on their side. With their soil conservation technique, which keeps fields green as long as possible, they manage to regulate the humidity in their plots. A need, almost, with the weather episodes of recent years. “In our business, we have always had climatic hazards, he reasons. But it is true that today, climatic incidents are more and more recurrent, so we are sure to be in a climate disruption. We are a victim of it so we have the ability to adapt, but it’s even better if we can mitigate it. “ A goal he set for himself by switching to soil conservation agriculture.