A wave of cold weather across France in the past weeks could hit grain crop yields by 5 to 6 percent if it lasts beyond mid-April, a leading scientist at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) said on Wednesday. A late blast of winter weather in France and other major European grain producing countries has raised concerns that crops could be hurt and the summer’s harvest delayed, buoying European grain prices in recent weeks.
“For the moment it’s fine. Crops are strong and can recover,” Herve Guyomard, Scientific Director for Agriculture at INRA told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference on water. Last month was the coldest March since 1987 in France, the EU’s top grains producer, with average temperatures 1.5 degrees Celsius below the seasonal norm, meteorological office Meteo France said.
Below-average temperatures are forecast to continue in France at between 0 and 5 degrees Celsius, but should be followed by slightly milder conditions in the 10 days to April 19 with temperatures expected between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius, according to US national weather service forecasts.