Rapeseed yields in France’s northeast are “very good” for the first harvested plots, oilseed researcher Cetiom reported.
Harvesting has started in most areas south of the eastern city of Dijon, the Paris-based researcher wrote in an online report today. In those regions, where crops suffered little frost damage, indications are for yields of 3 metric tons to more than 4.5 tons per hectare (2.47 acres), Cetiom said.
“The first results we’re getting back are very positive,” Cetiom wrote. “It’s still much too early to point to a general trend. Plots with problems, still not mature, as well as areas with significant frost damage will temper these very good first numbers.”
France is the European Union’s largest rapeseed grower. Crops in the northeast of the country were damaged by frost in February, and the Agriculture Ministry has forecast average rapeseed yields in France will decline to 3.23 tons per hectare from 3.45 tons in 2011.
In the Val-de-Saone region, average yields are about 5 tons per hectare, while first results in the Yonne region are about 4 to 4.2 tons per hectare, according to Cetiom.
Rainy and cool weather is interrupting the harvest, the researcher reported. Fields that suffered most frost damage are often “invaded” by abundant weeds including geraniums, poppies, grasses and thistles, and farmers won’t be able to harvest part or all of some plots, Cetiom wrote.
To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at email@example.com