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Europe Mars Bulletins


18 September 2013

Europe Mars Bulletins Vol. 21 No. 9 - Crop Monitoring in Europe - 16 September 2013Europe Mars Bulletins Vol. 21 No. 9 - Crop Monitoring in Europe - 16 September 2013

Positive winter cereal season, mixed outlook for maize
Supplied by: MARS BULLETIN – EC - JRC

The whole period from the beginning of July until the end of August was characterised by above-average air temperatures and below-average rainfall over major parts of Europe. More rain than usual was recorded for eastern and southern France, northern Poland, and many areas of Russia and Tunisia. In early August, an exceptional heat wave was recorded in Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, north-eastern Italy, Slovakia, Hungary and western Romania.

On balance, the EU-28 outlook for cereals remains favourable and well above both last year’s levels and the 5-year average, even though the grain-maize yield has been lowered compared to our last Bulletin. The most notable forecast reduction for maize was in Romania and Italy. The EU-28 forecast for grain maize is now slightly below the 5-year average but still clearly above last year’s yield. The forecasts for the other main spring and summer crops (sunflower, sugar beet and potato) were all revised downwards for the EU-28 as a whole. In general, the weather during the harvest across Europe was good and forecasts for wheat, barley, rye and triticale for the EU-28 remained practically unaltered from the last Bulletin.

Agro-meteorological overview

1.1 Areas of concern

The whole period from the beginning of July until the end of August was characterised by above-average air temperatures and below-average rainfall over major parts of Europe. More rain than usual was recorded for eastern and southern France, northern Poland, and many areas of Russia and Tunisia. In early August, an exceptional heat wave was recorded in Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, north-eastern Italy, Slovakia, Hungary and western Romania, as reported in the area of concern map for August. Summer crop yields in the countries most affected were revised significantly downwards.

No areas of concern are reported for this period. In western and central Europe, late sown winter and spring crops are now ready for harvesting, and weather conditions are beneficial. No further deterioration of summer crop conditions occurred in northern Italy and southern France and good growth conditions were created by favourable weather since the end of August and early September. The weather forecast for the coming days is also good for the upcoming harvest. The early start to the season in Eastern Europe led to an early harvest in the month of August, profiting from dry conditions. Ukraine and Russia are experiencing e a favourable end to the season and no major weather concerns are forecast as the harvesting of summer and spring crops approaches.

1.2 Agro-meteorological review (Summer 2013)

Summer was dry and hot in northern Italy, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia. During the whole period the air temperatures were above average over major parts of Europe. June was characterised by warmer conditions in eastern and northern Europe and colder in the west. The warmer conditions continued until the first half of August. In early August, an exceptional heat wave was recorded in Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, north-eastern Italy, Slovakia, Hungary and western Romania. Above-average precipitation occurred in June over south-eastern Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, northern Romania, Poland and southern Belarus, causing local flooding and widespread waterlogging, and affecting crop growth. The period from 1 July to 31 August was drier than usual in central and eastern Europe, with the exception of eastern and southern France, northern Poland and many areas of Russia. Above-average rainfall was also recorded during the last days of August in some regions of the Balkan Peninsula, Romania and Sicily.

Observed temperatures

June was characterised by colder-than-average conditions over western and central Europe, whereas above-average temperatures were recorded in eastern and northern Europe. In contrast to the first and the third dekads, warmer-than-average conditions also occurred in central Europe during the second decade of June. In Austria, southern Germany and the Czech Republic, temperatures exceeded the long-term average by 4°C to 6°C. During the third dekad of June, negative average thermal anomalies in the range of -2°C to -4°C were recorded in northern Spain, France, the Benelux countries, northern Italy, the Czech Republic and Austria.

Warmer-than-usual conditions continued over eastern Europe during the first half of July, with average daily temperatures 2°C to 4°C above average in Russia and the eastern part of Ukraine. Significantly warmer-than-average temperatures were also recorded over the western part of the Iberian Peninsula, with average daily temperatures up to 6°C above average and maximum temperatures of over 38°C. During the second half of July, colder-than-usual conditions predominated in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, southern Finland, Turkey and the western part of the Iberian Peninsula. By contrast, positive temperature anomalies in the range of 2°C to 4°C were recorded in the most of central Europe, France, Germany, Denmark, the Benelux countries, the UK, Ireland, Austria, the Czech Republic, western Poland, Slovenia and north-eastern Italy. Maximum daily air temperatures of over 36°C were recorded between 27 and 28 July in the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula, north-western and southern Italy, Hungary and the Balkan Peninsula.

In August, above-average temperatures were observed over the whole of Europe, with the exception of central France and central Turkey, where negative average temperature anomalies of up to -2°C were recorded. During the first days of August, an exceptional heat wave was recorded in Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, north-eastern Italy, Slovakia, Hungary and western Romania, with maximum temperatures of over 38°C. Positive thermal anomalies in the range of 2°C to 4°C were observed from 1 to 15 August in south-western Poland, Austria, Hungary, the eastern part of the Czech Republic, Romania, the Balkan Peninsula, Italy and central Russia. After this warmer period, temperatures returned to average until the end of August. The southern and western parts of the Iberian Peninsula experienced maximum temperatures of between 37°C and 40°C for the whole month. The temperature sum for the period as a whole (1 June to 31 August) exceeded the long-term average by more than 100 degree days over northern and eastern Europe, the western part of the Iberian Peninsula and in eastern and southern Italy. The number of hot days (Tmax>30°C) cumulated from 1 July to 31 August was 16 days more than the long-term average over the western part of the Iberian Peninsula, south-western France, northern Italy and most regions of central and southern Italy, the Balkan Peninsula, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, the western part of Romania and the south-eastern part of Ukraine.

Observed rainfall

During the first half of June, high rainfall of over 80 mm, exceeding the long-term average by more than 50 mm, was experienced in south-eastern Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, northern Romania, Poland and the south of Belarus, causing local flooding and widespread waterlogging. The exceptionally wet conditions recorded in central Europe from May to the first half of June contributed to poor soil aeration, increasing the risk of nutrient deficiency and pest damage, and have affected crop growth, especially for summer crops. By contrast, lower-than-average precipitation occurred in northern and central France, the British Isles, the Benelux countries, northern Germany, western Italy and Russia. The second half of June was characterised by drier-than-average conditions over northern Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Belarus and the Baltic countries. Cumulated rainfall over this period exceeded the long-term average by more than 40 mm in Moldova, eastern Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Austria, the Czech Republic and locally over northern Germany, the Benelux countries, and northern and western France. The period from 1 to 15 July was characterised by drier conditions over central and western Europe. Precipitation levels of 30 mm below average were recorded over northern Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Benelux countries, western and northern France, the British Isles, the southern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula and central Ukraine. By contrast, rainfall locally exceeded the average by more than 50 mm over the northern Black Sea regions and northern Poland. The cumulated rainfall recorded during the second half of July exceeded the long-term average by more than 50 mm in southern and western France, central Russia, Ireland and the northern part of the UK. During this period, dry conditions continued over southern Germany, northern Italy and the Ukraine, and also occurred in Austria, southern and eastern Poland, Hungary and Slovenia. Normal rainfall conditions were observed elsewhere.

Drier-than-usual conditions prevailed during the first half of August in northern Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria, western Ukraine, south-eastern Poland and Belarus, whereas rainfall locally exceeded the long-term average by more than 30 mm over the southern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula, the western coast of the UK, the Baltic countries and central Russia. Average precipitation prevailed elsewhere in Europe. During the second half of August, most of northern Europe and southern France, experienced drier-than-usual weather conditions. Lower-than-usual precipitation in the range of -30 to -40 mm occurred over the British Isles, southern France, western Spain, northern Germany, the Benelux countries, northern Poland, the Baltic countries, western Belarus, Finland and northern Russia. In large areas of western and southern France, the western part of the Iberian Peninsula and southern Scandinavia the total rainfall cumulated during this period did not exceed 10 mm. By contrast, precipitation levels that were above average by more than 30 mm were recorded in Austria, Romania, Croatia, central Ukraine, north-eastern Italy, along the coasts of the western Mediterranean region, Spain and Italy (Sicily, Lazio, Sardinia).

In summary, the whole summer period was drier than usually in the Benelux countries, southern UK, Germany, Denmark, the north-western Iberian Peninsula, northern Italy, the northern Balkan Peninsula, Hungary, south-eastern Poland, the Baltic countries, Belarus, Ukraine, western Russia and the southern coasts of the Black Sea. By contrast, Austria, the Czech Republic, northern Poland and the northern part of the Black Sea regions experienced wetter-than-average conditions. Above-average rainfall was also recorded during the last days of August in some regions of Balkan Peninsula, Romania and Italy (Sicily).

Source: MARS BULLETIN – EC - JRC

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