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French Rapeseed Sowing in Centre Seen Lower by Cetiom

Winter-rapeseed sowing in France’s Ile-de-France and Centre regions and Eure department, which make up close to a third of plantings, fell from last year as drought hurt crop development, industry researcher Cetiom said.

Sowing in the regions is down between 5 percent and 20 percent, depending on the area, Paris-based Cetiom wrote in a report on its website today. Rapeseed had trouble developing due to late sowing and difficult germination, the group said.

France is the European Union’s largest rapeseed grower, harvesting 1.6 million hectares (4 million acres) of the oilseed this year, almost exclusively planted as a winter crop, Agriculture Ministry data show. Centre, Ile-de France and Eure jointly make up about 29 percent of France’s rapeseed surface.

In the Poitou-Charentes and Limousin regions and the Vendee department, which account for about 9 percent of France’s winter-rapeseed area, plantings are down about 25 percent to 30 percent from last year, Cetiom said.

Brittany, Pays de la Loire and Lower Normandy, good for about 9 percent of winter-rapeseed area, suffered less from drought, according to Cetiom. Less than 5 percent of planted rapeseed was plowed under.

Cetiom reported last week that losses may reach 50 percent in northern Burgundy and the Lorraine region, which jointly account for more than 18 percent of France’s rapeseed surface.

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