France corn planting to hit highest levels in three years

Overall wheat crop down

French corn farmers will plant the most corn in three years, utilizing 1.67 million hectares of land compared to 1.59 million hectares in 2011, according to the country’s Agriculture Ministry.

The 4.5 percent increase will be the largest since 2009, when farmers harvested 1.76 million hectares of grain corn. France’s overall corn area, including for fodder use, is expected to be stable at 3 million hectares.

The country’s soft-wheat area is estimated to drop by 5.3 percent, to 4.72 million hectares, after a February freeze destroyed part of the crop. Durum wheat will rise 0.5 percent, to 420,000 hectares.