A very mild but predominantly dry March boosted the start of the season in central and eastern Europe, but has been followed by a so-far chilly April, slowing crop growth. Biomass development in Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary is not satisfactory. Eventually, precipitation did arrive around the Mediterranean with rain for Spain, southern France, Italy and the Maghreb. The dry period in England has also come to an end.
As the season advances, crop model simulations are being increasingly used to forecast winter cereals. In northern Europe and the Baltic states as well as in Ukraine, forecasts are still based on the trend analysis. In general, the current prospects for the EU-27 yields remain average. Compared to our last forecasts, rape seed has been revised down, lower biomass accumulation is now apparent in the crop growth model, and the yield potential has fallen due to frost damage. The low yield potential for durum wheat in Spain is confirmed and yields have been revised down compared to the last bulletin.