Overnight rains in some parts of France have brought some relief, but suffering from prolonged drought is not enough for cereals, the head of France’s largest farm union said on Monday.
The dry weather in France, the European Union’s largest grain producer, and the war in Ukraine, a major grain exporter, have raised concerns about global supply. Harmful crop heatstroke forced India to ban wheat exports on Saturday.
FNSEA chief Christian Lambert told BFM television that bone-dried soil prevents most of the crop from absorbing rain.
“The situation is very complicated because the water reserves are low, there is a 25% deficit. Therefore, if the soil is very dry and it rains suddenly, it will not sink to the ground but will be washed away,” he said. .
Grass will benefit, but the grain crop is in a difficult situation, he said.
“For wheat, for grain, now the grains have to be fattened and now they need regular watering,” he said.
The French geological survey BRGM said on Friday that groundwater levels in France had deteriorated sharply since February due to insufficient water in some parts of the country, mainly in western and southeastern France.
Crop data released on Friday showed that the condition of French wheat and barley crops has declined as the dry weather continues.
Lambert noted that the decline in French wheat production would come at a time when the outlook for global grain is difficult.
U.S. wheat is at its lowest level in years due to drought.
Lambert also pointed to the problem of sowing in Ukraine, one of the world’s largest grain exporters, and the expected fall in yields in the country.
“We see deficits everywhere,” he said.