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Sugar beet growing area to shrink to 14-year low in France, growers say

Updated Feb 28, 2023
By Sybille de La Hamaide PARIS (Reuters) - France's sugar beet growing area is set to fall to a 14-year low in 2023 despite high prices, with farmers deterred by possible crop damage due to pesticide restrictions, the head of the sugar beet group said. CGB sector producers on Tuesday. Based on seed purchases, farmers should sow 6% to 7% less in 2023 than the previous year, CGB director general Nicolas Rialland told Reuters at a Paris agricultural fair. A 6% drop could take the area sown with sugar beet, used mainly to produce sugar and ethanol, to 378,000 hectares, the lowest since 2009, official data showed. The cultivation area was 402,000 hectares in 2022. French farmers have suffered bad harvests in recent years and a severe drought has cut the 2022 crop by 7% from the previous year. Two years earlier, it had fallen by about 30%, hit by jaundice and a summer drought. Concern about possible damage to crops this year has increased after a European Union court last month ...
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