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Portugal weather hits grain yields
LISBON , Hot, windy weather has led to premature ripening of Portugal's winter cereals crop and is likely to cut yields by 15 percent from last year's levels, the National Statistics Institute (INE) said on Monday.
In its latest monthly bulletin on crop progress, using data gathered in May, INE predicted yields for durum wheat - the country's biggest cereal crop - would be 1.57 tonnes per hectare.
Coupled with a prior estimate that farmers planted 148,000 hectares to durum wheat, this would produce a harvest of some 230,000 tonnes.
Last year's record durum wheat crop of 296,000 tonnes was reached due largely to farmers planting more of the crop in recent years in order to receive greater European Union subsidies.
"The prolonged water-logging to which fields were subjected in recent months contributed to this fall (in yields) and prevented or thwarted the application of manure, fertilisers and herbicides, which caused countless pest infestations," INE said.
"These conditions were aggravated by weather conditions in May, which unleashed a rapid ripening and poor grain formation," INE added.
INE noted that average temperatures in southern Portugal, where most of the country's winter-planted cereals are grown, was 2.4 degrees Celsius above average in May, while rainfall was less than 30 percent of the monthly average.
Portuguese farmers have planted 126,000 hectares to irrigated maize, the same as last year.
MGR Archive 17.6.2003
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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