Global Hot Spots: French farmers plant more wheat for 2016

Global Hot Spots: French farmers plant more wheat for 2016

French bird flu cases may be less than U.S. outbreak; Dry fields, weeds, insects cut India's soybean production

French farmers plant more wheat for 2016 - Reuters

France's farm ministry forecasts that farmers planted more winter wheat for the 2016 harvest, with acreage at 12.9 million acres, up 1.5% from last year, according to Reuters.

That is slightly more than the nearly 12.8 million acres of soft wheat harvested this summer that was the highest since 1936.

The final crop area can be affected by winter losses, but that planted level puts France on course for another big harvest after a record volume this year.

For durum wheat, the ministry estimated sowings would rise 11.6 %to 874,380 acres as the variety used in pasta continued to recover from a sharp decline in recent years.

Global Hot Spots: French bird flu cases may be less than U.S. outbreak; Dry fields, weeds, insects cut India's soybean production

Sowing of winter crops is virtually finished in France and cereal plants are generally in good condition, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed.    

French bird flu cases may be less than U.S. outbreak –Reuters

The rising number of bird flu cases in France is unusual but unlikely to turn into a crisis as seen in the United States this year that led to the culling of millions of poultry, the head of World Organization for Animal Health said in a Reuters story.

France is the European Union's largest agricultural producer and has had a series of diverse bird flu outbreaks since a case of H5N1 was found in chickens in the southwest region of Dordogne on Nov. 24.

"It is an unprecedented situation to see the emergence of three different strains in such a short time," OIE Director General Bernard Vallat told Reuters in an interview. "We are not in a situation like the one in the United States because the breeding methods are different and the strains less virulent."

Twelve outbreaks have been reported, involving three different strains of highly pathogenic avian influenza : H5N1, H5N2 and H5N9. Eight countries have restricted imports of French poultry birds and products due to the recent outbreaks, including Japan which is France's biggest export market for foie gras.

More than 48 million chickens and turkeys have been culled in the United States since December 2014 because of bird flu.

Dry fields, weeds, insects cut India's soybean production

India harvested an estimated 7.5 million metric tons of soybeans this fall, the lowest in many years as intermittent rain, bugs, weeds and dry soil hurt production, USDA's attache said in a report.

The lower production was despite planted acres increasing to 28.7 million acres from last year's 27.2 million.

India is about the fifth largest soybean producer in the world with most of the production going for domestic use. 

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