Joint Research Centre - European Commission

The European Commission's in-house science service
European Commission

Harvest in Germany

Total cereal production in 2010 should be close to the last five years' average© Kriss Szkurlatowski

Crop forecast: average production in the EU despite extreme weather


Total cereal production in 2010 should be close to the average from the last five years. While the yield per hectare will be 5% above average, overall cultivated areas have decreased. This agricultural year has been marked by unusual scattered weather events ranging from severe rain shortage to floods. However, the impact of poor weather on crops in some areas of the EU has been offset in other areas.

In general, Europe saw a harsh winter with waves of exceptionally low temperatures in December, January, February and also in March (e.g. snowfall in Spain) leading to a delayed start to the season. Spring and early summer brought a severe shortage of rain in the United Kingdom, western France, Benelux, northern Germany, eastern Poland and Greece. Flooding occurred in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania. On the other hand, Spain and Italy experienced favourable and abundant rain in spring. Northern and central France, Benelux and Germany experienced very high temperatures in June and July coupled with low rainfall. The forecast published today by the JRC provides yield estimates for the main crops throughout the European Union and identifies the areas most affected by stress conditions.

While the EU's cereal harvest should reach average levels, the JRC crop monitoring system identifies very critical conditions (hot and dry) that will severely affect winter crop production in Russia, and in particular along the Volga River.

During the agricultural season, the JRC's Institute for Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) regularly issues forecasts for the main crop yields and produces analyses of the impact of weather conditions on crop production. These are based on methodologies using satellite remote sensing and mathematical models which simulate crop growth.