Heavy Rain Forecast to Cut EU Winter Cereal Sowings, Delay Potatoes

November 26th, 2019


Category: Grains

(Agriculture.com) –  Heavy rain is expected to reduce winter cereal sowings in parts of western Europe, the European Union’s crop monitoring unit MARS said on Monday.

The total winter cereal area for the 2020 harvest was projected to fall in Britain, Ireland and the Benelux countries, MARS said in the monthly report.

Southern France and northern Italy were hit hardest by the rains between Oct. 1 and Nov. 20, further exacerbating poor sowing and harvesting conditions, MARS added.

France, the EU’s biggest grain-producing state, was expected to see a decline in soft wheat area, it said, adding that the majority of winter cereals in the affected countries have already been sown despite the poor conditions.

“Conditions for emergence and early development have generally been favourable for the earlier sown crops, whereas later sown crops show a delayed development,” MARS said.

Although dry conditions through August and September disrupted the sowing of rapeseed in France, Hungary and some parts of Germany, the rainfall recorded since October has improved emergence conditions, MARS said.

The frequent rainfall has also delayed the maize harvest in Germany and France as well as the potato and sugar beet harvest in the UK and Ireland.

“If the weather does not improve, it is likely that a significant portion of potato crops may not be harvested until next spring,” it said.

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