New estimates for EU grain plantings in 2015 reveal that European grain production could drop by as much as 8%, when compared to last year, according to Copa-Cogeca.

The producer body is attributing this to the impact of the greening measures, introduced as part of the new Common Agricultural Policy reform policies.

The projections were unveiled at a recent meeting of Copa-Cogeca’s Cereal Working Party. Chairman of the working group Max Schulman, who was re-elected at the get-together, indicated that the figures point to a projected reduction of 8%  in EU grain production this year.

“The total output figure for 2015 will come in at around 293.9 mt while the area planted out in cereals will fall by around 4% year on year,” he said.

Figures published by the European Commission estimate EU cereal output for 2014 at 327mt, 27mt below the figure recorded for 2013.

“The reduction in the planted area for 2015 is mainly as a result of the new greening measures under CAP reform,” said Schulman.

“Farmers have been particularly careful this year to avoid the excessive cuts in their payments which apply when they make even a very slight, unintentional error in implementing the new rules.. The rules really need to be simplified and made more flexible for farmers to apply in order to be effective and to meet rising world food demand.

“In addition, farmers and cooperatives have serious concerns about new EU rules governing futures markets. Unless the rules are clarified, producers and cooperatives will be classified as a financial operator despite the fact they are economic operators and deliver physical goods.

“Implementation of the new regulation would cause unnecessary red tape and regulation in their work simply due to misinterpretation of a European definition. This must be revised.”