December 14, 2022


France to increase area sown with soft wheat for next year



The French Ministry of Agriculture and Food said the area sown with soft wheat for next year's harvest will increase to 4.75 million hectares, 1.7% higher compared to the area harvested this year, Hellenic Shipping News reported.


The expected level would also be 0.1% higher than the previous five-year average, according to the ministry's report.


France is the largest grain producer in the European Union.


Winter varieties sown in late summer and autumn were included in the ministry's projections. In France, wheat and rapeseed are almost exclusively winter crops, whereas barley production includes a significant amount of spring-sown crop.


Increased sowing areas combined with favourable early growing conditions point to good production prospects for 2023, though weather from spring onwards has a greater impact on final yields.


In contrast, durum wheat sowing was estimated to be down 4.4% year on year at 233,000 hectares, or 12.5% below the five-year average.


The ministry revised its 2022 harvest estimates, putting drought-stricken grain maize production, excluding crop grown for seeds, at 10.58 million tonnes, down from 10.74 million expected a month ago.


The revision, which reflected a reduction in yields and a shift in area toward fodder maize, resulted in production that was 30.4% lower than last year's record harvest and 22.6% lower than the five-year average.


Sugar beet output, which has also been affected by drought this year, has been reduced to 31.55 million tonnes from 31.94 million last month. The new estimate was 8.2% lower than the previous estimate for 2022 and 14.6% lower than the five-year average.


The ministry's estimates for soft wheat, barley, and rapeseed production in 2022 remained nearly unchanged.


-      Hellenic Shipping News

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