We are doing science for policy
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.
The latest JRC MARS Bulletin on Crop monitoring in Europe, published 21 March 2016, finds that winter crops are well advanced in most of Europe due to the mild winter.
In general, prospects for the new season are promising. At this stage of the season the yield forecasts are based on the historical trend or average values.
Eastern European countries (Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria and Moldova) and Turkey experienced a particularly milder-than-usual end to the winter. This thermal anomaly is not critical per-se, but prompted the de-hardening of crops, thus making them vulnerable to possible late frost-kill damages. Since the beginning of February, southern Spain and Portugal have been facing a rain deficit. This comes at a moment of increasing water demand as crop canopies are reaching maximum expansion. Northern Italy has experienced a rainfall surplus since mid-February. A similar situation is found in Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro, where a significant rainfall surplus has been recorded since mid-January and winter crops are locally suffering from water logging; possible impacts will be visible in the coming weeks.