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Drop Forecast for EU Wheat Harvest

08 July 2011

EU - The 2011 EU wheat harvest will be down by 3.5 per cent on last year, according to estimates released by European farm organisation Copa-Cogeca.

The barley harvest is predicted to be down by 4.4 per cent but the overall forecast drop in cereal output is limited to just 1 per cent, at 272 million tonnes, due a positive outlook for maize, according to Farmer's Guardian.

The Copa-Cogeca figures follow estimates released by the NFU last month predicting that UK wheat yields will, on average, be 14 per cent down on last year due to the spring drought conditions in some regions, particularly the east of England.

Copa-Cogeca said the tight EU market situation, allied with growing world wheat demand and uncertain climatic conditions highlighted the need for the EU Commission to ensure the next Common Agricultural Policy boosts productivity.

Ian Backhouse, chairman of Copa-Cogeca cereals working party and the NFU's combinable crops board chairman, said: "In view of the drought this year which has affected large parts of the EU, the estimates are still very uncertain.

"Production costs, especially fertiliser prices, have skyrocketed and are squeezing producers hard. Grain stocks are low and the market situation is expected to remain tight. Cereal stocks are predicted to remain under pressure and the market will stay volatile, driven by the Russian and Ukraine harvests."

Copa-Cogeca secretary-general Pekka Pesonen said: "EU measures to manage the market must be maintained and improved under the future CAP in order to boost productivity and ensure food security."

He said direct payments to farmers must continue under the future CAP to help farmers deal with this volatility and uncertain climatic conditions.

He EU farmers were also concerned about the proposed Commission measures to further green the CAP, which he said ‘threaten productivity, and insist on the need for green growth, rather than green constraints'.

TheCropSite News Desk

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