Europe wheat crop threatened by rains

Mycotoxins could be a problem, harvesting delayed

Overly wet conditions in western Europe are threatening the quality of the area’s wheat crops, according to analysts, who say that the threat of mycotoxins has increased with the bad weather.

The weather is also disrupting harvesting, particularly in the west coast of France, where early harvests usually provide the first exports of the season. Only 3 percent of the soft wheat crop was estimated to have been cut by July 9, up from 1 percent the previous week but down from 47 percent in 2011.

In Germany, the EU’s second-largest wheat producer, crops still have a chance to recover before the harvest. “It is too early to press the alarm button on Germany’s wheat crop because a period of sunshine would push wheat to ripeness,” said one analyst. “Most wheat is still green, so it is not yet suffering damage in my view. But we will have a slightly later harvest start than hoped as the weather has been so cool and cloudy.”