News last update:7 Aug 2012

EU plans to grow more cereals

High grain prices have encouraged EU crop growers to plant more cereals and fewer biofuel crops. This can be concluded from EU statistics, released on Wednesday.

Figures from EU statistical agency Eurostat show that the amount of land planted with cereal crops such as wheat and barley is expected to grow by 5.7% from last year. Durum wheat — used to make pasta — will be planted on 12.6% more land than in 2007.

Rapeseed – the basis for biodiesel in Europe – was planted on fewer fields. It is the first time in five years that the amount of land dedicated to rapeseed is reduced.

Eurostat said these changes were mainly due to the high prices for cereals – as a result of high demands and low stocks – at the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008.

Eurostat expects the EU cereal harvest to grow by 10% this year, warning that its figures are likely to be revised. Unexpected rain or drought often sees final harvests differ hugely from forecasts.

The amount of land used for protein crops — half of them peas — continues to shrink, it said, despite growing demand for the crops as animal feed.

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