The National French Federation of Maize and Sorghum Seed Production (FNPSMS), states that France is the biggest European producer and major exporter of maize seeds. To be able to remain in this position, efforts are being made to step up branding the French corn seeds.
About 128,500 hectares of maize seed have been harvested this year in the EU-28. Of this total, 58 000 hectares came from France. The share of France is around 45% in the EU which makes it the biggest producer of maize seeds.
Hungary and Romania account for 21,000 hectares each. These yields were a bit higher than the earlier forecasts for both France and the EU, despite a few local accidents in Central and Southern Europe, related to drought and high temperatures.
France’s production should end at 13.9 million tons this year, up 12% from last year’s 12.3 million tons, thanks to the excellent country-level yields. The current production year has been characterised by early (mid-April) plantings and a good progress of crops, due to weather conditions that have favoured very early flowering. The progress enabled growers to let the crop dry on the stalk and thus save their drying costs.
The good 2017 yields were made possible by the genetic progress achieved especially in terms of the new varieties’ drought tolerance and early-planting characteristics, allowing for better light interception during the longer spring days.
On an increasingly competitive market such as maize seed, France cannot therefore take its position for granted and its industry has to do everything possible to secure its leadership. Thus every year, the FNPSMS carries out numerous activities to promote French seeds and high-performance genetics on the EU markets and in third countries, through specific events and various communication tools. To give these activities a strong profile and overall coherence, the actors in the industry have set out to develop a specific brand that would characterise the ’maize seed produced in France’ and symbolise the excellence of the industry.
The ‘Maize in France’ brand and the related logo will represent the idea of quality and performance. Also, a website promoting the French maize seed industry and its assets is currently under development.
France is one of the world’s most important grain exporters and the driving force in the E.U.’s grain sector. After a poor 2016-17 crop, a recovery in the quantity and quality of grains production is expected in 2017-18. Its traditional export market is in North Africa, as well as in other E.U. countries, but French barley has made big inroads into the Chinese market in recent years.