July 4, 2011


French rapeseed harvest exceeds expectations



The rapeseed crop in northern and eastern France, which account for about 60% of the country's rapeseed production, is better than expected based on initial harvesting, according to Cetiom, the country's technical centre for oilseed crops.


Yields were "very variable" according to soil conditions and rainfall, ranging from one tonne a hectare to more than 4.5 tonnes, the Paris-based researcher said in a report on its website today.


"The harvest is better than expected, but uneven," Cetiom said. "Broadly speaking, the performance is above initial expectations, which confirms that dry years are not unfavourable for rapeseed."


France had its second-hottest April since 1900, and soils in the country's northern half were the driest in 50 years at the end of that month, according to the government. National rapeseed output is forecast to fall 8.3% to 4.4 million tonnes in the 2011-12 crop year, as average yields slide to 2.9 tonnes a hectare from 3.3 tonnes, farm lobby Copa-Cogeca said in a report today.


In the Champagne-Ardenne and Seine-et-Marne regions east of Paris, average yields are around four tonnes a hectare so far, according to Cetiom. In the Saone-et-Loire region southeast of the French capital, where more than half of the rapeseed has been cut, the average yield is around 3.5 tonnes.

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