Dryness after summer heatwave seen cutting EU rapeseed sowings
- European heatwave hinders rapeseed sowing
- Ground too dry for sowings
- France, Germany, UK, Poland all hit
Dry soil after record-breaking European summer heatwaves means farmers have been unable to plant all the rapeseed they wished, experts said on Thursday.
The ground may have been too dry for sowings in parts of the top four producers Germany, France, Britain and Poland. High grain prices after the poor European Union crop this summer also made some farmers turn to cereals from rapeseed, Europe’s main oilseed for edible oil and biodiesel production.
“We anticipate a fall in the rapeseed area, firstly because margins are less attractive than last year given the rise in prices of winter cereals, and also because weather conditions are dry all over the EU, from the south to the north,” said Hemeline Macret, of French analysts Strategie Grains.
Drought caused serious difficulties for rapeseed sowing in Germany, and analysts estimate about 1 million hectares were sown, down by about 200,000 hectares on this summer’s crop.
“The dryness created major problems for German sowings and I think a considerable number of farmers gave up and have decided to plant other grains,” one analyst said. “Seeds in a lot of areas, especially north Germany, also lack enough moisture to germinate.”
Parched land hampered rapeseed sowing in France, raising the risk that farmers will abandon some drillings.
France has experienced its second-hottest summer on record this year. A warm, dry end to summer increased the strain on cropland during rapeseed sowing.
“We’re seeing an accumulation of problems,” said Fabien Lagarde of oilseed institute Terres Inovia. “Soil preparation was mostly done in dry conditions, not all intended sowings were able to be carried out, notably in the north, and now the lack of rain is hindering the emergence of plants.”