For cereals, the total EU-28 production is expected to fall within the 5-year trimmed average, at around 306 million tonnes. Durum wheat harvests are expected to decline (-9 %), while rye is likely to see an increase (+16 %) in 2019 vs 5-year trimmed average. Commenting on these results, Jean-François Isambert, Chairman of the Copa and Cogeca Working Party on Cereals, said, ‘whether those first estimates have fallen within the average recorded for Europe over the past five years, we still need to remain extremely cautious at this stage. The heatwave that has hit Europe is still not behind us and already affect spring cereals. We can also fear the way it will impact late-harvest crops such as maize’.
Regarding oilseeds, the total EU-28 production will probably see a sharp drop, down to about 30.9 million tonnes. This is mainly due to poorer rapeseed yields on the back of the largest-ever decrease in rapeseed acreage caused by the dry conditions over last autumn’s sowing period. Pedro Gallardo, Chairman of the Copa and Cogeca Working Party on Oilseeds and Protein Crops, said, ‘this poor performance has also to do with the rapeseed policies implemented at the European level in recent years. We have put a cap on biofuel production by keeping tabs on our consumption while condoning, in the meantime, ‘imported deforestation’ from abroad. Moreover, rapeseed producers have to deal with pests and diseases, which have been particularly ferocious this year. Without the appropriate tools at hand, given the EU’s and national authorities’ failure to renew the authorisation of several plant-protection products, rapeseed cultivation will become more and more complex in Europe. On the long run, this is also putting the viability of beekeeping at stake in some regions.”
The protein sector, currently at 4.3 million tonnes, is showing promising results with a slight increase in production, which is 2.38% higher that the five-year trim average. According to Pedro Gallardo, ‘these good results can be explained by the growing demand for plant-based protein from the organic sector and from those making new dietary choices, and by the support these crops receive under the CAP’.
Cereals, Oilseeds and Protein Crops.