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Grains Develop Under Challenging Weather Conditions in Spain

28 June 2012
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

SPAIN - The MY2012/13 grain crop in Spain has developed under challenging weather patterns. After a long winter drought, the precipitation pattern improved in May.

However, it arrived too late for those regions where the crop was at a more advanced development stage. In those areas where grains are harvested later in the season, high temperatures prevented yields from recovering. Recently released official figures project a decline in production of 30 per cent from last year.

The grain marketing year 2012/13 in Spain has been rather atypical. The planting season, while delayed, took place in overall good conditions thanks to moderate rainfall that took place in the second half of October 2011. Dry conditions during the winter favoring crop rooting in one hand, but at the same time diminishing soil and water reservoirs.

Rainfall throughout April was beneficial for some grain areas, where the grain crop condition improved. However, April precipitations arrived too late for those grain producing areas where crop is harvested earlier, since yields loses had already being recorded.

May’s weather conditions have been mixed. While the precipitation pattern improved, it arrived too late for those regions where the crop was at a more advanced development stage. Also, high temperatures prevailed in the second half of May. Dry and warm weather has prevailed in the first half of June. This heat wave has affected grain formation also in those regions were crop yields projections remained higher.

The overall outcome of this weather pattern is a delayed crop that has had little time to mature before the summer season started drying out the grain. This is particularly true for Southern regions were a large part of the crop will be harvested for hay or used as pasture. Northern regions have also being affected by this heat wave. Nevertheless, those areas with soils with higher water retention capacity might have fared better with mixed weather conditions.

Further Reading

You can view the full report by clicking here.

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