Copa & Cogeca cereals and oilseeds working party discuss difficult market situation

Despite a big world grain harvest this year with low prices seen globally, new figures released by Copa & Cogeca today show that EU-28 wheat production fell by as much as 10% this year and rapeseed by 9.2%, compared to 2015, leaving EU farmers with severe cash flow problems.

The move came at Copa and Cogecas’ Cereals and Oilseeds Working Parties. Chairman of the Cereals Working Party Max Schulman said “Latest forecasts show that EU-28 wheat production is down on average by 10% this year, compared to 2015, and yields are lower and the situation could worsen for the total EU-28 cereals crops as harvests are on-going in some countries. France was particularly badly hit with a sharp drop of 30% seen. The reduction is mainly a result of bad weather conditions. Many countries have also suffered from pests and diseases this year and its becoming harder to combat them as they become more resistant to crop protection products. There are not enough effective crop protection products on the market and this must be looked at”.

“The bad situation EU farmers are facing is exacerbated by the bumper cereals harvest seen on the world market which is forcing prices down and leaving EU farmers with severe cash flow problems. Without cash, they can’t buy enough certified seed or fertilizers to sow their new crops for the next season which could result in another poor EU harvest next year”, Schulman warned.

Chairman of Copa and Cogeca oilseeds working party Arnaud Rousseau meanwhile stressed “EU-28 rapeseed production also fell sharply by 9.2% this year, compared to 2015, for the second consecutive year, partly due to the poor weather conditions and also increasing insect attacks in various regions of the EU. The lack of effective plants protection products (PPPs) has contributed to this poor EU-28 harvest for oilseeds and pulses”.

“We need to re-think current EU policy on approving PPPs otherwise rapeseed producers will lose one of the major crops in their rotation system which is crucial for maintaining biodiversity. Farmers also need to be able to use effective PPPs and fertilizers on Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) otherwise we will lose an important crop to the detriment of livestock producers and the environment”, Rousseau said.

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