Maize – Leading Crop in the 2020 European Rotations

Seed Production Programme up for 2021 Plantings

Maize has confirmed once again as a top choice with the European producers during the 2020 plantings. Its areas have increased in most European countries, both for grain and feed. EU-level maize areas should stand at 15,1 million hectares this year (up 2 percent). The trend is due to the difficult plantings in the autumn/winter of 2019. Thus grain maize has become an alternative to rapeseed in its own right, as well as to straw cereals, in several countries. Feed maize is also trending up, countering feed deficits in many countries, after several years of drought-stricken harvests.

Planting conditions were dry in most production countries. However, the return of rainfalls at mid-May provided favourable emergence conditions in most production countries.

In France, maize area is projected at 3 million hectares, up 10 percent in the grain sector and 2 percent in the feed sector. In Germany, maize should exceed 2,7 million hectares – up 11 percent in grain and 2 percent in feed and biogas. Further to the East, maize areas are rising in both Romania and Bulgaria (up 2 percent), with 2,7 million and 0,5 million hectares, respectively, and remain high in Poland, with over 1,2 million hectares.

Outside the EU, maize continues to develop strongly. Grain maize areas are up 8 percent in Ukraine (to 5,4 million hectares) and 6 percent in Russia (2,7 million hectares). In Belarus, the area has reached 1,1 million hectares (up 5 percent), due to an upward trend in both the grain, and feed, industry. The same rising trend is noted in Turkey, where grain and feed maize areas are estimated up 9 percent, reaching 0,8 million hectares.

Seed supply was prompt to accompany the area increase and the European maize growers were thus able to benefit from the best genetics. However, maize seed stocks are reported down throughout Europe. As a result, maize seed producers have increased their production programme for the 2021 plantings. Maize seed multiplication areas have reached 170 000 hectares at EU-level, of which 80 000 hectares in France, where they are up 14 percent (grain) and 16 percent (feed).

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