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The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
According to the April issue of the JRC MARS Crop monitoring in Europe Bulletin (Vol. 26 No 4), which was published today, in many parts of Europe, unfavourable weather conditions caused delays to the sowing of spring and summer crops. In most cases, there is still time to complete sowing within a suitable window without significant impact on yields.
After the severe cold spell that occurred at the end of February and the beginning of March, central and eastern Europe were under the influence of another cold spell in the second half of March, with minimum temperatures below −8°C. Such conditions caused delays to the start of spring sowing and hampered the growth and development of winter crops, but did not cause substantial damage to the crops.
Overly wet conditions caused delays to spring and summer crop sowing in large regions of France, Italy, the UK, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and the Balkans.
In other parts of Europe, delays were caused by a combination of prolonged periods with low temperatures, accompanied by (or alternating with) high precipitation.