PARIS: The condition of soft wheat in the week to Feb. 27 was unchanged from the previous week, farm office FranceAgriMer said on Friday, in a sign that the dry February weather had not taken a toll on crops.

An estimated 95% of soft wheat crops rated to be in good or excellent condition by Monday, above the 93% registered a year earlier, it said in a cereal crop report.

Grain traders and analysts have said crops have avoided cold damage this winter and that soil moisture has been adequate despite an unprecedented dry spell over the past month.

However, continued dry weather forecast in the first week of March after the low February rainfall has raised concerns about a possible repeat of last year’s drought during crucial spring and summer growing periods.

For winter barley, 93% of the crop was rated good or excellent, down from 94% from the previous week, while durum fell to 91% from 92%.

The dry conditions eased spring barley sowings which are almost over with 92% of the expected area planted by Feb. 27 compared with 80% a week earlier and an average 42% over the previous five years, FranceAgriMer’s data showed.


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