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Poland Faces Worst Harvest in More Than Decade, Minister Says

Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Poland’s grain production and quality will decline this year because of heavy rain in the past weeks, Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki said.

“This year’s harvest is one of the most difficult in more than a decade,” Sawicki said in an e-mailed comment. “The quality of grain is much worse because of rainfall, this regarding both the consumption and feed grain.”

The wheat harvest in Poland, the European Union’s fourth-largest grower of the grain, usually starts in July. Last year the output of the so-called basic grains, excluding corn, was 25.5 million metric tons compared with 28 million tons in 2009, according to the country’s statistics office.

“Output will be lower than last year, though a lot will depend on the weather in the coming days,” Sawicki said. “Unfortunately, for the moment the forecast is not promising. Eastern Poland suffered the most from bad weather conditions and the harvest in that region has been delayed by at least three weeks.”

Eastern Poland received between 120 to 150 millimeters (4.7 to 5.9 inches) more rain in July than normal, data from the EU’s Monitoring Agricultural Resources unit shows. France, Germany and the U.K. are the top producers in the 27-nation EU, according to data from the bloc.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ewa Krukowska in Brussels at ekrukowska@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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