Autumn crop sowings up in EU
Sowings of winter crops of cereals and oilseeds for the 2013 harvest are up on the previous year in much of the EU, says the European Commission in its latest short-term outlook report. Estimates as at mid-February put the increases at 2.2% for wheat, 7% for winter barley, 4.4% for rye and 4.6% for triticale. However, the UK and Ireland saw a “considerable” reduction due to adverse weather conditions. Winter oilseed rape sowings are up by 8.4%, despite declines of 7.7% in the UK and 5.7% in France. The rapeseed expansion is expected to reduce the sunflower area. For the final 2013 harvest, the Commission forecasts a cereal area of 57.6 million ha and an oilseed area of 11.4 million ha. The comparisons make allowances for the forthcoming accession of Croatia to the EU.