French wheat yields exceed expectations

Farmers in France have cut about 80% of their wheat, and yields are about 8% below last year, according to analyst ODA.

“The yields are mixed, but seem to be better than last year in northern France,” said managing director Alexis Prouye.

“National yields are down approximately 8%, which is less than expected, and production will be around 33.5m tonnes.

“Quality is also generally good, with specific weight at 79kg/hl and protein at 12% on average.”

Spring barley harvest was well advanced, and yields were about 15% down on the year, he added.

“Poor quality has also been confirmed, with more than two thirds of the sample with protein levels between 12 and 14%.” (Equivalent to high nitrogen samples in the UK).

Farmers had finished combining winter barley, with yields about 10% below last year, said Mr Prouye. That would put production at 6.4m tonnes – the lowest level since 2003.

“However, the crop is very good for malting; it will be in high demand by the maltsters.”

Rapeseed harvest was also complete, with a strong improvement in yields from the major production areas towards the end of harvest.

“In the North, yields are up 20%, with some areas recording record harvests,” he added. “French production has therefore been increased by 7%, to 5.15m tonnes.”

Oilseed rape yields in the UK were 12% higher than last year, at an average of 4.18t/ha (1.7t/acre).

But winter barley yields were 14% lower, and wheat yields were also slightly down. 

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