Dryness and Winterkill Reduce EU Wheat Prospects11 May 2012
EU - Wheat production in the European Union (EU) for 2012/13 is forecast at 132.0 million tons, down 5.4 million or 4 per cent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 24.9 million hectares, down 0.7 million or 3 per cent from last year, and yield is forecast at 5.3 tons per hectare, compared to last year’s 5.36 tons.
The EU-27 is the largest wheat producing entity in the world. France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Poland are the biggest producers within the EU, with 2012/13 estimated production at 36.5 million, 22.5 million, 15.6 million, and 8.8 million tons, respectively.
Spain’s southernmost province of Andalucía has the nation’s highest concentration of wheat and almost all of its durum. Fall and winter drought severely limited wheat development in Andalucía. While significant April rain events benefitted earlier-stage northern crops, it was likely too late to improve conditions in the south. Dryness was a significant problem during the planting campaign for wheat last autumn in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and other areas in southeastern Europe. As a result, the estimated harvested area and yield are down.
After a mild start to winter, temperatures suddenly dropped in early February with an event of unseasonably low temperatures ranging from -20 to -25°C in areas of Poland and Germany. Snow was absent for the entire week-long event in Poland and for about half the week in Germany.
Winterkill is estimated to be higher than normal in areas from eastern France through the Balkans, and much higher than normal for western Poland. Poland is one of the few countries where spring wheat might be planted, restoring some wheat area. Winter wheat is estimated to sustain damage at temperatures of -20 °C with no snowcover.
Shifted weather patterns brought rainfall back to much of the EU in April, improving soil moisture, enabling yield recovery, and encouraging increased summer crop plantings. The majority of wheat is harvested in July, so increased rainfall during grain-fill would be favorable for wheat prospects.
Further ReadingYou can view the full report by clicking here.
TheCropSite News Desk