Dry weather to curb French cereal production – Ministry of Agriculture

Wheat grains pictured at a farm in Vieillevigne near Nantes, France, August 24, 2021. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

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PARIS, May 9 (Reuters) – Dry weather in France will negatively impact winter grain production this year by reducing the yield potential of some crops, the French agriculture ministry said on Monday.

Poor rainfall in France, the European Union’s largest grain producer, has heightened market concerns over global supplies given the war’s disruption of Ukrainian exports, keeping European prices at record highs.

“Due to the lack of rain and particularly dry conditions, we now know that there will be an impact – yet to be determined – on grain production,” a ministry official told reporters.

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While winter crops like wheat can use their roots to draw moisture, crops in shallow soils are expected to suffer yield losses from drought, the official said.

The comments echoed those made to Reuters last week by agricultural institute Arvalis, which said hot and dry weather forecasts for the next few days would cause irreversible damage to French cereal crops. Read more

For recently sown spring crops like maize, sugar beets and sunflower seeds, the ministry was monitoring conditions on the ground, with rain seen as crucial over the next couple of weeks to avert yield losses in the fields. newly established plants, the official added.

Below-average rainfall in winter and early spring has already led to local water restrictions in parts of France, although the ministry said agriculture had been given priority status like power stations.

Last month, the government announced additional funding of 100 million euros ($105.57 million) for water agencies to help mitigate the effects of the drought.

($1 = 0.9472 euros)

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Reporting by Gus Trompiz and Sybille de La Hamaide, editing by Chris Reese and Sandra Maler

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