European planting outlook good despite weather delays

HAMBURG, Germany (Reuters) — Prospects for spring grain sowings in the European Union are positive with recent delays not causing concern and a big area expansion is expected in Poland, experts said.

Spring grains are the second round of cereals to be sown after winter grains and include spring barley.

Favourable weather in France, the EU’s largest grain grower, should allow spring barley sowings to speed up following delays of about 10 days, a broker said.

Spring barley should ideally be sown by mid-March in France. By March 11, farmers had seeded about 50 percent of the planned area.

Last year, when sowings suffered similar delays, good weather allowed farmers to seed more than 40 percent of the area in the week to March 16.

Low prices mean French corn plantings, which usually start around end-March, may be six percent lower this year.

In Germany, the second largest grain producer, plantings will be delayed about two weeks by a mixture of frost and rain but the delay should not cause concern, a German analyst said.

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