French Soft-Wheat Crop 80% Planted This Week, Winter Barley 93%

France’s soft-wheat crop for harvesting in 2013 was 80 percent planted as of Nov. 5, narrowing the gap with last year’s sowing pace from a week earlier, crop office FranceAgriMer reported.

Sowing was 95 percent complete at the same time last year, the crop office wrote in a weekly progress report. Farmers had planted 63 percent of their planned soft wheat area last week.

Wheat planting in France, the European Union’s biggest grower, started at the end of September. The country had an unusually wet October, with rainfall 31 percent above average, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

Farmers in France seeded 17 percent of the soft wheat area in the seven days through Nov. 5, compared with 7 percent in the same week last year. The soft-wheat crop was 41 percent emerged at the start of the week from 28 percent surfaced seven days earlier, and compared with 76 percent at the same time in 2011.

Tillering, the leaf-development phase that follows emergence and the wheat plant’s first three leaves, had started for 2 percent of the crop, from 15 percent at the same time in 2011, according to FranceAgriMer.

France’s winter barley was 93 percent planted as of Nov. 5 from 78 percent a week earlier, and compared with 97 percent at the same time last year. The crop was 54 percent emerged, up from 41 percent the previous week, and 88 percent last year.

Durum wheat, the hard variety used to make pasta and couscous, was 20 percent planted this week, up from 2 percent seven days earlier and compared with 69 percent sown in 2011.

Farmers had harvested 84 percent of the country’s corn crop, up from 69 percent a week earlier, and compared with 99 percent harvest completion a year ago, according to FranceAgriMer.

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