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Copa-Cogeca EU-27 Concern Over Lack of Seed Availability

19 March 2013

EU - Copa-Cogeca has released new EU-27 cereals estimates for the 2012/3 and 2013/4 marketing years, showing EU soft wheat production is forecast to rise by 3.7 per cent on last years levels. But the poor weather conditions during the sowing period is expected to have a serious impact on crop yields, Copa-Cogeca warned.

The issue was discussed in Copa-Cogeca cereals working party. Speaking after the meeting,Chairman of the group Max Schulman from Finland stressed: “The figures show that EU-27 soft wheat production is expected to climb from 122.4 mt in 2012/3 to reach 127 mt in 2013/14.

"Total wheat production is expected to increase by 3.3 per cent . For the first time, the area under barley is set to rise by one per cent but due to low expectations on yield potential, production would be limited to 53.7 mt. A rise of 1.9 per cent in total EU-27 grain production is foreseen from 273 mt in 2012/3 to 278.5 mt in 2013/4.”

He continued “Copa-Cogeca at the meeting complained of bad winter cereal sowings resulting from poor weather conditions like wet weather and floods whilst others had good conditions. This implies that a significant percentage of the crops will have to be re-sown.

"EU farmers also expect lower yield potentials due to the winter kill this year and the lack of available certified seed in Spring varieties. This demonstrates the need for farmers to able to use their own farm saved seed to respond better to the demand."

Despite the potential increase in production, stock levels are meanwhile expected to stay low until the end of the season. EU Farmers therefore need a good harvest this year to improve the volume and quality of their grain production.

Fertilizers are a key component to achieving this. But the current price levels on the market and potential national taxes make this increasingly difficult for farmers to achieve which runs contrary to the EU priority of maintaining food security and of meeting growing demand.

TheCropSite News Desk

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