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French Corn 16% Gathered as Wheat, Barley Sowing Advances

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Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- France’s corn crop, the European Union’s largest, was 16 percent harvested as of Oct. 8 from 7 percent a week earlier, crop office FranceAgriMer reported. The pace of soft wheat and winter-barley planting accelerated.

French farmers had cut 55 percent of their corn the same time a year ago, the Montreuil-sous-Bois, France-based office wrote in an online harvest report. Corn rated good or excellent increased to 69 percent of the crop from 67 percent a week ago.

Corn production is forecast to fall to 15 million metric tons from 15.6 million tons in 2011 as yields drop to 9.1 tons per hectare (2.47 acres) from 10 tons per hectare, the crop office reported earlier this week.

Soft wheat for harvesting next year was 14 percent planted at the start of the week, compared with 4 percent seven days earlier and 29 percent at the same time last year, FranceAgriMer wrote. The crop was 2 percent emerged, it said.

French farmers had sown 24 percent of winter barley as of Oct. 8 from 6 percent the previous week, and compared with 45 percent at the same time in 2011, according to the crop office. The grain was 3 percent emerged.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net