France’s farm ministry on Sept. 8 raised its estimate for the country’s 2009 soft wheat crop to 37.30 million tonnes, up from 36.08 million last month.
The soft wheat harvest would now be up 1.1 per cent on the 2008 crop, due to better yields, overriding a slight drop in the area sown, the ministry’s statistical arm SSP said.
“All the regions, apart from Normandy (northwestern France) and the south of France, have benefited from an increase in yields,” the ministry said in its monthly crop report.
The raised outlook for wheat production reflected an increase in the expected yield from this summer’s harvest to 7.66 tonnes per hectare (114 bushels per acre) versus 7.37 a month earlier.
The new wheat crop estimate was still below other forecasts that see the crop topping last year’s bumper crop to reach 38 million tonnes.
The ministry cut its forecast for maize output to 14.97 million tonnes, compared with 15.56 million tonnes last month, in the light of a two per cent drop in the area sown and lower yields.
“The drop in yields is general in big producing regions,” the ministry said.
This left projected 2009 maize production down 6.5 per cent on last year but 1.9 per cent above the five-year average.
For barley, the ministry upped again its forecast for total output (winter and spring barley) to 12.84 million tonnes, versus 12.58 million last month and 12.17 million in 2008.