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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 May issue of the JRC MARS Crop monitoring Bulletin, which was published today, warm and relatively dry weather in most of Europe boosted crop development and allowed spring sowing to accelerate, but also brought challenges to winter crops, especially rapeseed.
Northern, central, and eastern Europe faced an exceptionally warm April, with average temperatures +3°C to +6°C above the long-term average. The warm weather boosted biomass accumulation and increased crop water demand, which was not always supported by sufficient soil moisture. Large parts of central and eastern Europe are affected by lack of precipitation, but so far mostly without serious effects on winter cereals.
However, in large parts of central Europe, the exceptionally warm and drier-than-usual April conditions negatively affected the flowering of rapeseed that was just recovering from the adverse conditions earlier in the season.
Abundant precipitation in the United Kingdom, southern France, southern Austria and Slovenia hampered field activities, but was mostly beneficial for soil moisture and the emergence of summer crops in northern Spain and Algeria.