Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The soft wheat area in France, the European Union’s largest grower, may be 1.6 percent bigger this year than in 2012, while fields planted in rapeseed decline, FranceAgriMer said.
Soft wheat planting, including winter and spring varieties, may total 4.949 million hectares (12.23 million acres) this season, compared with 4.871 million hectares a year ago, the Montreuil-sous-Bois, France-based crop office said in a report on its website dated Jan. 15. Durum wheat, a hard variety of the grain used to make pasta, will be sown on about 406,815 hectares, down 6.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the report.
Rapeseed planting may total 1.489 million hectares, down 7.1 percent from 1.602 million hectares a year earlier, FranceAgriMer said. Barley sowing was pegged at 1.083 million hectares, up 10 percent from 2012.
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