Rainstorms in France give some relief to cereals but not enough, FNSEA says

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Grains of wheat pictured in a farm in Vieillevigne near Nantes, France, August 24, 2021. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

PARIS (Reuters) – Storms and rainshowers in large parts of France overnight provided some relief but not enough for French cereals suffering a prolonged drought, the head of the French agriculture association said on Monday.

FNSEA chief Christiane Lambert said on BFM television that rain that fell overnight would not solve wheat growers’ problems as some of it ran off the land rather than penetrate bone-dry soils.

“The situation is very complicated because water reserves are low, there is a 25% deficit, therefore the soil is very dry and the rain, when it arrives suddenly, does not manage to descend into the soil but washes away,” she said.

She said that grass would benefit, but that cereal crops remain in a difficult situation.

“For wheat, for cereals, it is now that the grains must fatten and now that they need water regularly,” she said.

She said the outlook for grains was very difficult worldwide this year due to record temperatures in India and other countries.

“India had planned to export but has now stopped as they suffer 50 to 52 degree temperatures and everything is burning. The same thing is happening in many states in the United States, where they also have more and more tornados,” she said.

She said Ukraine was not able to sow due to the war and said the Ukrainian government now expected wheat crop yields to fall more than 50%, compare to the previous forecast for a 30% drop.

“We are seeing shortages everywhere,” she said.


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