Reuters / Spring seeding is in full flow in western Europe with a sharp rise in area expected in Britain after wet weather wrecked autumn plantings, but a significant drop is anticipated in Germany due to much more favourable conditions.
In France, the EU’s top grain producer, conditions were generally satisfactory, with mild, dry weather in early March helping spring barley sowing accelerate and providing relief for winter crops after a very wet February.
Britain is expected to see a major shift towards spring cropping as many farmers were unable to plant crops last autumn due to extremely wet conditions.
Barley, Britain’s most important spring-sown crop, is expected to rise by about one-third with the area of winter wheat down sharply.
In Germany the outlook for winter crops is much more favourable, with a low level of frost damage which should limit spring plantings.
Spring grain sowings are expected to be sharply reduced this year based on seed sales and the low level of frost damage to winter grains so far — a reversal of what happened last year when frost damage caused the replanting of large areas sown to winter grains.