Higher cereal and oilseed harvests forecast for Copa and Cogeca

Written by Lydia Turner from Farm Business

In its first forecast released today, Copa and Cogeca foresee the EU-27 cereal harvest increase by 1.6% (292.42 million tonnes) as a result of a surge in plantings (52.10 million hectares +0.7%) and better yield prospects than in 2020.

For wheat, the start of the harvest will be delayed by more than a week due to low spring temperatures and excessive moisture in recent weeks, which have slowed plant development. The soft wheat harvest could reach 130 million tonnes (+7%) while spring cereals production is expected to be down (-5.4% for barley, -4.9% for oats, -4% for rye and -0.8% for maize) due to lower plantings offset by an increase in the total wheat area (+4.7%)

Jean-François Isambert, Chair of the Cereal Working Party commented, “This positive outlook for cereals should allow for the replenishment of EU-27 ending stocks for 2021/2022. These good figures will not necessarily be reflected in the bottom line for farmers as we face rising production costs.”

The price of fertilisers is in fact higher in Europe than elsewhere in the world because of the protection by custom duties and anti-dumping measures that cost European farmers €1.6 billion a year. If carbon border adjustment mechanisms were to be added to this, the price of fertilisers would skyrocket, further increasing the cost of agricultural production in Europe, while making the use of imported foods more competitive and attractive.

cereals production

Oilseed harvests are expected to rise by 8.9% (30.12 million tonnes) despite a 1.3% drop in plantings, but better yield prospects have yet to be confirmed. The rapeseed crop is expected to reach 16.75 million tonnes (+2.7%) while sunflower production is expected to rise significantly to more than 10 million tonnes (+17.4%) and soya to almost 3 million tonnes (+ 20.2%).

Pedro Gallardo, Chair of the Oilseeds and Protein Crops Working Party commented, ‘The EU-27 rapeseed area is at 5.33 million hectares which is significantly lower (-7.6%) than the 5 year trimmed average (5.77 million hectares). Farmers need oilseeds to lengthen the cereal rotation but no longer have enough effective tools to protect rapeseed against pests. Without a safe and effective toolbox at hand, especially where farmers already use low levels of pesticides, it is scientifically proven that yields will be reduced, and therefore food security in the future will be threatened.”

Copa and Cogeca call for accelerated procedures to bring new effective technological solutions such as new plant protection products, biocontrol solutions and better performing varieties to the market and to have alternatives before banning existing tools with proven effectiveness.


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LIVE - DEFRA SFI Janet Hughes “ask me anything” 19:00-20:00 20th September (Today)

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Hello, I’m Janet Hughes. I’m the Programme Director for the Future Farming and Countryside Programme in Defra – the programme that’s phasing out the Common Agricultural Policy and introducing new schemes and services for farmers.

Today (20 September) between 7pm-8pm, I and some of my colleagues will be answering your questions about our work including the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Farming in Protected Landscapes, and our test and trials.

We’ll try to answer at least 15 of your top voted questions, so please vote on the questions you’d most like me to answer.

You can read more about our Future Farming policy on our blog.

I’ve answered some of your questions previously: you can watch the videos on...