Drought hampers rapeseed sowing in France

A drought in France disrupts canola seeding for the third year in a row and could prevent acreage from recovering, which has shrunk in recent years due to adverse weather, insect damage and declining interest from farmers.
Rapeseed, the most widely produced oilseed in the European Union, is sown in France in late summer. One of the warmest summers in France combined with low rainfall has dried up some of its agricultural regions.
After the sowing was almost over, analysts and traders observed how much rape was sown and how the crops were developing.
"We're facing another complicated rapeseed season," said an oilseed trader.
"We hear that the situation is very mixed depending on the region."
The farmers' initial cultivation plans showed that the rapeseed area would remain stable on around 1 to 1.1 million hectares compared to the last harvest, said Afsaneh Lellahi from the Terres Inovia oilseed institute.
However, the contrasting conditions between very arid eastern zones and western regions where more rain fell made it difficult to predict actual acreage, she said.
France's rapeseed acreage was 1.1 million hectares each in the last two harvests, compared to around 1.5 million in 2015-2016.
A hot phase this week in France, with temperatures reaching record highs of over 30 degrees Celsius in mid-September, could increase the burden on newly sown canola.
The drought during the sowing season a year ago, followed by heavy rains in autumn and widespread insect infestation, resulted in rapeseed production in France falling to 3.3 million tonnes this year, a third less than the average for the last five years, according to the French Ministry of Agriculture.

Hansa Terminhandel GmbH
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