Early Thoughts On EU Plantings

With the EU harvest winding down, and prices running close to their highest since to "food crisis" that wasn't really a food crisis of 2007/08, EU growers are spoilt for choice what to plant this winter.

Here's a few random Nogger thoughts on what might go into the ground:


More wheat, but possibly not that much more, maybe 5% or so. Growers will also be looking at what type of wheat to sow, having planted marginally more feed wheat than milling wheat last season. With Vivergo likely to be in production by next harvest, competition for feed wheat in the north could become pretty fierce.

That could potentially see the "north/south divide" open up even further, with more feed wheat getting sown in the north/east midlands.

Having absorbed two years of indigestion there will be some growers scratching their heads as to whether to give barley another chance too. Maltsters might have to sharpen their pencils and offer some tempting contracts if they want to stem the tide away from barley.

OSR prices aren't exactly unattractive either, and we could see a further modest increase in acreage here giving the additional rotational benefits of doing so.

Peas, beans and other marginal crops could all see a reversal in their planting fortunes.


I don't expect any significant changes. The combination of a decent harvest and high prices might buy a few more wheat acres this year, possibly raising the planted area around 5 million hectares. Barley area might lose a little and OSR gain slightly.


The wet end to the season endured by German farmers may have a more significant impact on winter plantings than in the UK or France. Reduced OSR sowings (maybe 10%) look the most likely scenario, with some areas too wet for planting during the optimum time frame. Much of this enforced reduction in area might end up going into wheat.


Similar problems to those in Germany meant a late finish to the harvest could have a negative impact on winter OSR plantings. Again wheat is the most likely beneficiary.


A much wetter than normal year potentially means that winter wheat area could increase. Durum wheat sowings should recover from a slump last season, due to a high carry-in from the previous year.


High prices might encourage wheat plantings back to the levels of two seasons ago - circa 2 million hectares.