French farmers had sown 9 percent of the spring barley area for this year’s harvest by Feb. 16, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed on Friday, in a swifter start to the sowing season than last year.
France, the European Union’s top grain producer, has experienced mostly mild conditions this winter and without the heavy rain that delayed spring sowing a year ago.
Progress had advanced from 3 percent complete a week earlier and was above the 2 percent at this stage last year, the data showed.
Spring barley is the first spring-sown crop to be put in the ground by farmers in France, with the usual sowing period running from mid-February to mid-March.
Earlier-sown winter cereals remain in good condition and their development is ahead of the rapid pace observed a year ago, the data showed.
For soft wheat, France’s most-produced cereal, FranceAgriMer estimated that 91 percent of crops were in good or excellent condition, while 95 percent had entered the tillering stage, up from 89 percent a year ago.
(Source – http://www.blackseagrain.net/novosti/french-spring-barley-is-going-earlier-and-better-this-year)