EU Science Hub

MARS Bulletin Vol.19 No.16 - Agroweather, remote sensing and yield forecast

TOTAL CEREAL PRODUCTION LOWER THAN FIVE‑YEAR AVERAGE FOR EU-27 BUT GOOD PROSPECTS FOR SUMMER CROPS Highlight The last dekad of July and the first dekad of August continued to be cooler than average in western and central Europe. Most of the European countries (France, Benelux, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Finland, the Baltic States, Ukraine and Romania) showed average temperature accumulation in August. As very high temperatures persisted in the Mediterranean region and around the Adriatic Sea from mid‑August onwards, the sum of active temperatures was above the long‑term average (LTA) in Italy and Slovenia, on the Dalmatian coast and in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and eastern Spain (by >10 %). Summer continued into September, pushing accumulated temperatures well above the average in Italy and the Balkans, with maximum temperatures above 30 degrees. Towards the end of July and until the beginning of August rain fell predominantly in central Europe. In the major agricultural areas these weather conditions increased soil moisture and created a large surplus in the climatic water balance. Rain continued to be plentiful in areas around the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, moving accumulated values into surplus for the month of August. Access to fields for harvesting was hampered and held up by spells of abundant precipitation. Scarce precipitation was recorded around the Mediterranean Sea, in the Black Sea region and the area between the Black Sea and the Adriatic, where the weather favoured harvesting activities. Total wheat production is estimated at 135.36 Mt, less than in 2010 (-2.9 %) but still 0.5 % higher than the five‑year average. The fall in production since the last forecast in August is -0.8 %, reflecting mainly the reduced acreage since the last report (-0.8 %). Total barley production is also down since the last forecast by -3.4 % and is now estimated at 51.88 Mt (-2.8 % vs 2010 and -11.6 % vs the five‑year average). This is the result of the acreage reduction (mainly for winter barley: -7.9 % vs 2010, spring barley being stable at +0.3 %). The grain maize yield forecast at EU-27 level has been revised downwards since the end of August by -0.4 %. Production is estimated at 61.20 Mt, which is still +5.3 % higher than in 2010. For summer crops, production is estimated to be higher than in 2010 for sugar beet, potato and sunflower. The yield forecasts for those three crops are higher than in 2010 and even much higher than the five‑year average.