Conditions look good for 2016 EU-28 cereals harvest, but still serious pressure on farmers cash flow

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Conditions look good for next years 2016 EU-28 cereals harvest and despite the drop in EU grain production this year, it is still quite a big harvest compared to record levels last year, but there is serious pressure on farmers cash flow problems, Chairman of the Cereals Working Party Max Schulman has warned.

The move came after Copa-Cogeca cereals working party and oilseeds working party meeting when final figures for this years harvest were released and prospects for next years harvest.

Max Schulman stressed “We are optimistic about the 2016 harvest but there are still concerns about the oilseeds and maize crop in many countries also due to the neonicotinoid seed treatment ban. There are also big concerns about prices being down and not covering production costs, putting serious pressure on farmers cash flow problems. National experts also warned of serious fertilizer price rises, up 162% from 2004 to 2014 in Ireland for example and 40% of farmers input costs. Others shared similar concerns. “This must be examined at EU level”, he said.

For oilseeds, Arnaud Rousseau at Copa-Cogeca oilseeds working party expressed serious concerns over the impact of flea beetle attacks and ban on neonicotinoid seed treatment on EU oilseed rape production, underlining the need for a socio-economic impact assessment. Also we see a shift in production to peas and beans mainly due to the effects of CAP reform, they indicated. Finally, in view of the upcoming talks on climate change, Mr Schulman pointed out that the arable crops and forestry are part of the solution in fighting climate change through for instance producing more biomass on the field, the storage of carbon in soil organic matter and in producing renewable energy. Thanks to photo-synthesis, these plants make a big contribution to store carbon. This needs to be recognised”, he added.

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