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Lower cereal plantings forecast in EU

Low cereal prices could lead to EU farmers reducing their plantings this autumn, warns the European farmers and co-operatives group, Copa-Cogeca. It predicts a total EU cereal area of 57.5 million ha for the 2009/10 season, down by 4.3% on the previous year. "These days, farmers are making sowing decisions based on production costs and less and less on market forecasts. Market prices do not cover production costs in the cereals sector," says Paul Temple, chairman of Copa-Cogeca's cereals working group. Average yields are failing to increase as a result of climate change and lower pesticide and fertiliser use, the group adds. A prolonged drop in yields could lead to reduced long-term investment, it points out.

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