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French Rapeseed Plantings Partly Fail to Emerge on Lack of Rain

French rapeseed plantings partly failed to emerge after late sowing, hot weather in August and lack of rain hampered crop development, according to industry researcher Cetiom.

A third of the seeded crop has come up, with the remainder yet to emerge, the Paris-based researcher wrote in an online report today.

France is the European Union’s largest grower of the oilseed. The country had a dry and hot August, with above-normal temperatures and rainfall 18 percent below the usual amount for the month, the Agriculture Ministry said yesterday.

“The late harvests, the heat wave in August and the lack of significant rain are disrupting the implantation of rapeseed,” Cetiom wrote. “The quality of the seed bed, mediocre, isn’t favorable for rapeseed sprouting, all the more in the context of weak rains.”

Planting of spring barley this year to replace crops killed by frost left soils very dry, Cetiom wrote. Clods are difficult to break in clay soils and the dry conditions are raising questions about the effectiveness of pesticides, according to the report.

The optimal planting period for rapeseed has passed and “several days” remain to sow the crop, the researcher wrote.

“In all cases, it’s too early to decide to change crops because nothing has been lost at this point,” Cetiom wrote. “Sowing in dry soil doesn’t have to be a brake on implantation. After sowing in dry soil, weak rains of 10 millimeters (0.39 inch) are sufficient for correct rapeseed emergence, provided the soil isn’t too cloddy.”

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