Farmers in France, the European Union's biggest grain producer, had cut 91% of the grain maize crop area by 15 November, up from 82% a week earlier, as a late-running harvest neared an end, farm office FranceAgriMer said on Friday.
This year's harvest was still showing an 11-day lag compared with the average pace of the past five years, the office said in a weekly cereal report.
The growth of maize has been slowed by cool spells in spring and summer this year. Rising costs for post-harvest drying of grain - because of a surge in gas prices - have also encouraged farmers to leave crops in the field longer to dry.
Limited rain this month has helped field work although cold weather including first widespread frosts of the season have hampered natural drying of mature maize crops.
Slow Harvest Pace
The slow harvest pace has also reflected large volumes, with forecasters citing bumper yields.
Sowing of soft wheat and winter barley for next year's harvest was also nearing an end, with FranceAgriMer pointing to very good growing conditions.
For soft wheat, France's main cereal crop, 93% of the expected area had been drilled by Monday compared with 87% a week earlier, the office said.
In a first rating for newly sown soft wheat, it estimated that 99% of crops were in good or excellent condition, against 95% a year earlier.
For winter barley, 97% of the expected area had been sown against 94% a week earlier and 99% of crops were rated good or excellent, like the prior week.
Durum wheat sowing was 56% complete, up from 38% the prior week but lagging year-earlier progress of 72%.
In September, the European Union's crop monitoring unit MARS lowered its yield forecast for spring barley and maize due to the negative impact of sustained hot and dry conditions in southern Europe.