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EU-27 Cereal Estimates Announced, Copa Cogeca Calls for Flexibility

05 July 2012

EU - Copa-Cogeca released new EU-27 cereals estimates for the 2012/13 marketing year this week, claiming EU production is expected to drop slightly by 1.4 per cent, compared to last year, despite a slight increase in area.

In view of the severe weather conditions, farmers had to re-sow over 1.5 million hectares but were restricted by a lack of commercialised seed.

Ian Backhouse, Chairman of the Working Party stressed: “Severe drought hit Spain and Portugal this year whilst ample frost kill forced farmers to re-sow over 1.5 million hectares. Farmers were able to mitigate these crop losses by being able to switch to alternative Spring cropping.

"However, their ability to switch crops to respond to market demands was restricted by a lack of commercial seeds and had it not been for their ability to use their own farm saved seed they would not have been able to sow as much as they have.

"Farmers should not be restricted in their choices under the new CAP post-2013 to enable them to respond to market signals and variable weather conditions. The Commissions’ new measures to further green the CAP must not restrict this flexibility, especially the measure on crop diversification which forces farmers to grow a minimum of 3 crops."

Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen insisted: “The Commissions’ new greening measures are also estimated to have a major impact on the EU production potential, reducing production by up to 3 per cent. In view of the severe drought and frost kill, and rising world food demand, this is the last thing we need.

The proposals must be revised. Furthermore, the breeding sector is leaving the EU and there is less and less research on new molecules. This trend will mean less opportunities in the future to respond to societys global challenges. More investment in research and innovation is vital."

TheCropSite News Desk

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