PARIS, FRANCE — Winter grain sowings in most of Europe were completed on time as weather improved, but it was too late for rapeseed crops, Reuters reported, citing MARS, the EU crop monitoring service.

Rain had slowed planting in large parts of western, central, and southeastern Europe. Drier conditions in November allowed planting to recover in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Poland, Slovenia and Croatia.

Rapeseed sowings were hampered by dry soil and excessive rainfall in several of the main producing countries. The area sown at the EU level was expected to be below last year’s level and the five-year average, MARS said.

Abundant rainfall in the eastern part of the Czech Republic and Slovakia further delayed the sowing of winter crops and created poor conditions for crops already sown, Reuters said.

Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria also experienced significant delays but the forecast for the coming days may help to complete the sowings, MARS said.

The 2021 soft wheat area in the EU and Britain is expected to rebound significantly from last year.