France Raises Outlook for Wheat Crop as Rain Boosts Yields

French production of soft wheat, durum wheat and barley will be higher than expected previously after rain boosted yields, the Agriculture Ministry forecast.

Soft-wheat output may climb 7.9 percent to 36.7 million metric tons from 34 million tons last year, the ministry wrote in statement on its website today, raising its outlook from 35.9 million tons previously.

France is the European Union’s largest wheat producer. The soft-wheat harvest is about 40 percent completed, and the first results indicate yields are higher than last year and protein content lower, according to cooperative Union InVivo.

“The humid weather conditions from the month of April 2012 have been favorable for the yields,” the ministry wrote. “However, questions remain about the quality of the harvests because of the persistent rains.”

Corn production is predicted to slip 1.7 percent to 15.6 million tons from 15.9 million tons in 2011 on lower yields, the ministry wrote.

The forecast for barley production was raised by 326,000 tons to 11.3 million tons, climbing 29 percent from 8.78 million tons harvested in 2011. Farmers will harvest 2.39 million tons of durum wheat, 18 percent more than last year, and more than the previous forecast for 2.11 million tons.

France’s rapeseed harvest is forecast to slip 1.8 percent to 5.27 million tons, according to the ministry, which raised the outlook from 5.14 million tons.

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