French soft wheat crop rating falls as dry spell continues
The condition of French soft wheat declined in the week to May 29, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed on Friday, suggesting a dry spell was starting to affect some crops.
An estimated 91% of soft wheat was rated as being in good or excellent condition, down from 93% the previous week.
The score, however, was well above the 67% registered a year earlier. It was also the joint-highest for the time of year over the past decade, tying with 2015, when France went on to harvest a record crop, data from a cereal report showed.
After regular spring showers helped to offset low rainfall during winter, a warm and dry spell in the northern half of France since late May has revived concerns over a recurrence of drought that gripped France and the rest of Europe last summer.
Northern plains are forecast to remain dry next week, with greater chances of showers the following week.
The weekly good/excellent ratings for winter and spring barley also shed two percentage points, to 88% and 93% respectively, FranceAgriMer said.
Grain maize sowing, hampered by cool, wet weather earlier in spring, had 98% of the expected area sown.
The condition rating for emerged grain maize crops fell by two points to 92% good/excellent, the office said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Gus Trompiz Editing by Jason Neely and David Goodman )