French soft wheat harvest at halfway point, winter barley nearly over

French farmers had harvested almost half of this year’s soft wheat crop by July 13 and were in the final stages of winter barley harvesting, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed July 17.

For soft wheat, 47 per cent of the crop area had been harvested by July 13, compared with 11 per cent a week earlier and well ahead of the 26 per cent progress seen by the same week last year, it said in a cereal report.

A hot spell in France last week helped farmers advance in harvesting, although recent showers are expected to have slowed field work.

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For durum wheat, the variety used in pasta, 81 per cent of the crop had been gathered by July 13 against 36 per cent a week earlier.

For winter barley, 90 per cent of the crop area had been harvested, against 65 per cent a week earlier. That was slightly behind harvest progress of 92 per cent a year ago, FranceAgriMer said.

Spring barley harvesting was still in its early stages, with 22 per cent of the crop cut compared with 10 per cent a week before.

France is widely to expected to harvest less wheat and barley this year after adverse weather during the growing season, but prospects for the autumn maize harvest are more favourable.

FranceAgriMer’s reduced slightly its rating of maize crops to 82 per cent good/excellent from 83 per cent a week earlier but this was still above a year-earlier score of 75 per cent.

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