French winter crop ratings slide further: Franceagrimer

30 Apr 2021 | Tom Houghton

France’s winter cereal condition ratings continued to fall over the week as the EU’s biggest producer and exporter deals with the lingering effects of a cold snap and recent drier-than-usual weather as its crop develops.

Farm office Franceagrimer said in its weekly crop report Friday that winter wheat rated as being in a “good or excellent condition” now represented 81% of the crop, down from 85% a week ago.

It comes in the weeks after an unseasonal cold snap hit the EU, causing overnight temperatures to fall below freezing across the continent’s grain belt and threatening developing crops.

That has since been compounded by lower-than-average rainfall, with soil moisture charts showing much of northwest Europe far drier than usual for the time of year.

Despite that, France’s wheat production is still expected to rebound 20% from a four-year low to 34.9 million mt in the 2021/22 marketing year, according to a recent European Commission estimate.

Other cereal crops also struggled over the week, according to Franceagrimer, with winter barley down four points to 77% good or excellent, durum down eight points to 69% good or excellent, and spring barley down five points to 82% good or excellent.

Corn planting jumped 33 percentage points over the week, with 74% of the crop estimated to be in the ground by April 26.