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France’s drought-hit maize harvest 26% complete

French farmers had harvested 26% of this year’s grain maize crop by Sept. 19, compared with 14% a week earlier, farm office FranceAgriMer said on Friday.

That compared with 1% harvest progress by the same week last year, it said in a cereal crop report.

Harvesting got off to an early start in late August after an exceptionally hot and dry summer accelerated plant growth.

The weather also severely hurt yields and the farm ministry is expecting production to drop to its lowest since 1990.

An estimated 43% of maize crops were in good or excellent condition last week, unchanged from the previous week to remain at their lowest in FranceAgriMer data going back to 2011.

Maize crops were running 22 days ahead of the growth pace of last year and 12 days ahead of the five-year average, FranceAgriMer said.

The outcome of the drought-diminished maize harvest in France and elsewhere in Europe is being watched closely by the livestock sector, which relies on the grain for animal feed.

Imports from the European Union’s main maize supplier, Ukraine, have also been disrupted by Russia’s invasion of the country.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Gus Trompiz Editing by Jason Neely and David Goodman )

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