Early forecasts for "good" EU crop sowings
Crop plantings in the EU "seem to be good so far", says the European farm co-operatives group, Copa-Cogeca. However, crops are under pressure from winter kill and it is too early to assess the final outcome, the group warns. Nevertheless, sowing intentions indicate a total cereal area of 56.5 million ha for the 2013/14 season, a rise of 1.6% on the previous year. Of this, wheat is expected to edge up by 0.9% to 25.8 million ha. The total oilseed area is predicted to increase by 4.8% to 11.7 million ha, with oilseed rape up by 3.4% to 6.7 million ha. The protein crop forecast is for a 7% expansion to 1.1 million ha, led by a 14.7% increase in peas to 660,000 ha.