Copa-Cogeca has released new EU-28 oilseeds and protein crop estimates for the 2014/15 marketing  year, showing a good rapeseed crop, close to the record at 22.18 million tonnes.

The move came at the recent Copa-Cogecas Oilseeds and Protein Crops Working Party. At the get-together many Member States reported a positive crop situation due to the mild winter this year and good winter sowings.

In particular, EU-28 rapeseed production is predicted to be close to the record at 22.18 million tonnes for rapeseed, up 4.2% on last yea’rs levels. The forecast for this year’s sunflower crop which is estimated to remain stable at 8.89 million tonnes should be treated with mcaution however in view of drought in many countries.

Chairman of the Working Party Gerard Tubery welcomed the positive market outlook for rapeseed. But he warned that the farming community is concerned about the next marketing year in view of the upcoming ban on treated seed.

“Several field trials this spring have already  shown that sowing without treated seed creates very serious problems. Farmers are also still  waiting to see details of the implementing rules of the latest Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)  reform at national level before making their business decisions and production plans.

“This could limit opportunities for crops to be sown for the next season as farmers don’t know yet all the implications, including penalties, under the new CAP reform if they don’t comply with the new  greening measures. Finally, the u-turn in the EU biofuels policy is creating great uncertainty for farmers, reducing their interest in growing these crops which are in fact crucial for the livestock  factor since they ensure vital animal feed supplies”