July 12, 2015
EU farmers see rapeseed production fall 10.6% in 2015
Rapeseed production in the EU this year is seen to drop sharply by 10.6% this year, according to new estimates released Thursday by the umbrella group of European farmers' groups Copa and their cooperatives, Cogeca.
Copa and Cogeca blamed this to the neonicotinoid seed treatment ban, poor weather conditions and a lack of plant protection products.
Arnaud Rousseau, chairman of the Copa and Cogeca Oilseeds and Protein Crop Working Party, warned at a recent meeting of the party, "This year's rapeseed production is expected to decline by as much as 10.6% this year to reach 14 million tonnes compared to 15.76 mt last year. Yields are also down due to the recent heatwaves and drought across Europe, causing crops to suffer".
Total oilseeds production is also forecast to decrease--by 8.5%--from last year, he said, adding, though, that protein crop is up due to rising demand, tightening profit margins between different crops and new measures under the Commission on the Action Plan for Organic Farming that enable protein crops to be grown on Ecological Focus Areas because of their beneficial impact on biodiversity. (EU oilseeds harvest in 2014 totalled 34.4 million tonnes.)
"The increase [in protein crop] is welcomed by the sector but it will not be nearly enough to compensate for the potential feed losses for livestock producers ensured by rapeseed oil-cake. This year, there will be a lot less rapeseed oil-cake available for livestock producers. Action is vital", he stressed.
Rapeseed is considered a good replacement for soybean meal in most animal diets.