EU Crops Withstanding Cold Spell
A colder than usual spell in parts of Europe is not expected to cause much harm to winter grains and may benefit crops in France after a very mild autumn, analysts said, Gus Trompiz and Michael Hogan reported for Reuters.
Photo Insert: Growing conditions in France have improved markedly since summer.
In France, the European Union's biggest grain grower, sub-zero lows have not been severe enough to threaten wheat, barley and rapeseed, and a steady drop in temperatures since last month gave plants time to adjust.
Crops had raced ahead in growth during the warmest October on record, leaving them vulnerable to later cold snaps. Nearly all winter wheat and barley were in good condition by Dec. 5, according to FranceAgriMer's most recent crop report, reflecting regular rain and mild weather during autumn.
Growing conditions in France have improved markedly since summer, when drought slashed corn yields and hampered rapeseed sowing. Rapeseed was now also in good shape and not expected to suffer either from the cold spell.
"Given the situation at the end of the summer, we're pretty satisfied with a rapeseed area that held up and which has well-established crops," Afsaneh Lellahi of oilseed institute Terres Inovia said.
French farmers have increased soft wheat, winter barley and rapeseed sowings from the previous harvest, the farm ministry estimated on Tuesday.
In Germany, frost as deep as minus-10 to minus-14 degrees Celsius in central and eastern zones this week may pose risks to barley, which is less resistant to cold than wheat and rapeseed.
“There has been very little snow cover this week and I think the cold snap could have caused some damage to winter barley, but winter wheat and rapeseed appear all right so far,” one German grains analyst said.
Germany’s winter wheat sowed area for the 2023 crop should be little changed from 2.8 million hectares harvested in 2022, while winter rapeseed is seen up 4-5% at 1.13 million hectares, the analyst estimated.