- By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media
France's Winter Wheat Planting Hits New Record; Rapeseed at Three-Year Low
French winter wheat planting continues to climb to new records. Last year’s planting in preparation for this year’s harvest was the country’s highest planted area since 1936 at 5.17 million hectares. This year, however, the country’s winter wheat acreage is to reach 5.22 million hectares, according estimates by the French agricultural ministry.
Mild conditions throughout the sowing season supported this growth in acreage, which was 98% completed as of the end of October – a rate that is 1% down year on year, but far above the 89% at the same point in 2013, according to Agrimoney.
Durum wheat acreage in the country has also seen a revival, increasing by 11.6% to a four-year high, supported by a price ratio between durum and soft wheat that has increased from 1.3 in 2013 to 2.2 in 2014 and 1.9 this year.
The increase in wheat acreage is not the only shift in crop sowing that the country is seeing. Due to new stricter regulations regarding the use of certain neonicotinoid pesticides in the EU, which many farmers consider key to production, France’s rapeseed sowing has declined by 1.7% to a three-year low of 1.46 million hectares.