France supports grain farmers in face of crop failures


French Agriculture Minister Stéphane Le Foll has presented new measures to help grain farmers, including tax deferrals as well as a speeding up in the repayment of value added tax (VAT).

Newswire agency Reuters reports that France is helping grain farmers cope with an expected fall in revenue after heavy rain and a lack of sunshine in late spring affected the country's cereal crops.

One particular crop of soft wheat, the most cultivated crop in France, is down more than 25% on last year's record.

Reuters reports that the fall in production, which also affects grains such as barley and rapeseed, "comes at a time of low prices due to ample global supplies, with plentiful wheat crops expected in top producers such as the United States and Russia".


The measures announced by Le Foll to combat this drop in production include tax rebates or deferrals as well as a speeding up in the repayment of value added tax (VAT).

He also extended existing aid such as public loan guarantees and the possibility of postponing loan repayments.

"These are initial emergency measures for farmers' cash flow so that they can start their crops for next year," a farm ministry official told Reuters.

Winter barley

Meanwhile in Ireland, the combination of lower yield and weaker prices is resulting in an income reduction of around €200/ac on winter barley compared with last year.

With prices back over €20/t, the average yield and price hit combined equate to an income drop of over €190/ac on last year.

The IFA has warned that if Irish grain is not supported by livestock farmers, it may not be around much longer.



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