The condition of France's maize crop deteriorated sharply for a second consecutive week, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed, in a sign that dry weather in the European Union's biggest grain maize producer is taking a tolls.
An estimated 68% of the grain maize crop was in good or excellent condition in the week to 25 July, down from 75% the previous week, 83% in the week to 11 July and 84% in the week to 4 July, FranceAgriMer said in a cereal report.
The latest rating compares to a year-earlier score of 90%.
Harvest prospects in France are being watched closely at a time when shipments out of the European Union's main grain maize supplier, Ukraine, are hampered by the war with Russia and when adverse weather is hurting crops in other parts of the world.
More dry and hot weather is forecast in the coming weeks in key European maize growing regions, including France, and is expected to cause further damage to crops already stressed by a dry spring and sweltering temperatures earlier this month.
The condition of spring barley, which was 92% harvested by July 25, further deteriorated to 48% from 50% a week earlier.
In soft wheat, French farmers had harvested 95% of this year's crop by 25 July, compared with 84% a week earlier, FranceAgriMer said.
An estimated 63% of soft wheat was in good or excellent condition last week, unchanged from the previous week.
The winter barley and durum harvests were both over, well ahead of last year.