March 26, 2012


Italy plants more wheat, corn in 2012



More wheat has been sown for Italy's 2012 crop, with expectations to plant more corn in light of the high prices on local and international markets, the country's agricultural research centre ISMEA said.


Soft-wheat plantings for 2012 crops are estimated to have risen about 17% to 621,000 hectares (ha), with plantings jumping in major northern growing regions, ISMEA said on Friday (Mar 23) in the latest estimate of Italian grain plantings.


Soft wheat plantings have risen by 25% in Emilia Romagna, by 35% in Veneto and by 20% in Lombardy, ISMEA said in a report based on data collected in February.


Durum wheat area has increased by 13% to 1.35 million ha, driven by a 20% surge in plantings on the island of Sicily and a 15% rise in plantings in the southern region of Puglia and in the central region of Marche.


Corn plantings are expected to rise by about 2.6% to about 1 million ha, a level unseen since 2007, ISMEA said citing preliminary forecasts based on estimates for major growing regions of Emilia Romagna, Veneto and Lombardy.


Barley plantings have jumped 22% to 330,000 ha, powered by a 25% spike in sown areas in Emilia Romagna and Lombardy and a 10% rise in Veneto and the southern region of Basilicata.


Italy's statistic agency ISTAT has estimated a rise of soft wheat plantings in 2012 at 18.6%, an increase in durum wheat plantings at 11% and a fall in corn areas at about 3%, according to data collected in November and December.

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