The condition of most cereals in France declined for a fifth straight week despite showers that interrupted a hot and dry spell, but remained well above last year, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed.
An estimated 81% of soft wheat in the European Union's biggest cereals producer was rated as being in good or excellent condition in the week to 26 June, compared with 83% the previous week, FranceAgriMer said in a cereal crop report.
The score was, however, well above 64% registered a year earlier.
Detailed estimates per regions showed crop conditions had fallen in most of the country in recent weeks but remained in excellent condition in the north, one of France's largest grain baskets.
For winter barley, 82% of the crop was rated good or excellent, down from 84% the previous week, while the durum wheat score fell more steeply, to 69% from 77%.
Abnormally dry and hot weather since late May in most of France is thought to have stressed some plants.
Showers in mid-June were expected to have a positive impact, which may not yet appear in FranceAgriMer's data to June 26.
Soft wheat harvesting was under way, with 1% of the area harvested by 26 June, running behind the 5% harvested by the same time last year, the office said.
Harvesting of winter barley, the first cereal to be gathered at the start of summer, was 31% complete, FranceAgriMer said.
The durum wheat and spring barley harvests were also under way, with both at 5% progress by June 26, it said.