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UPDATE 1-Germany's 2019 wheat crop set to rise despite heatwave
(Adds detail, impact of recent heatwave)
HAMBURG, July 16 (Reuters) - Germany's wheat harvest is set to rise sharply from the drought-damaged crop in 2018 but a heatwave in recent weeks means crop forecasts have been scaled back, Germany's association of farm cooperatives (DRV) said on Tuesday.
The country’s wheat crop will increase 17.7% on the year to 23.85 million tonnes, the association said in its latest harvest forecast. The association had forecast Germany's 2019 wheat harvest at 24.70 million tonnes in its previous harvest report in June.
Grains had suffered from a heatwave in late June and early July, especially in east Germany, and so the association said it had scaled back its forecast. But the crop would still be up sharply on the 2018 harvest, when grains in Germany and much of west Europe suffered massive drought damage.
Germany's 2019 winter rapeseed crop will fall 19.0% on the year to 2.97 million tonnes after reduced sowings, the association said.
The association had in June forecasts winter rapeseed crop at 3.07 million tonnes but the oilseed had also suffered from the recent heatwave.
Germany is the European Union's second-largest wheat producer after France and for many years the EU's largest producer of rapeseed, Europe's main oilseed for edible oil and biodiesel production.
German farmers have started wheat and rapeseed harvesting in early regions up to ten days earlier than average, the association said. It is still too early for reliable estimates of crop quality, which is expected to vary between regions.
The winter barley harvest, traditionally the first to start, is making rapid progress and is approaching completion in early regions.
The winter barley crop, mostly used for animal feed, will increase 33.6% on last year's drought-reduced harvest to 9.85 million tonnes, the association said.
The spring barley crop, important for malt and beer production, is expected to fall by 5.4% on the year to 2.08 million tonnes.
The grain maize (corn) crop will rise 23.8% from last year's heatwave damaged crop to 4.13 million tonnes.
Maize still needs more rain this year, it said. Should there be another long period of dryness this summer, the maize crop forecast may have to be reduced, the association said. (Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by Louise Heavens)
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