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How are Europe's Winter, Spring Crops Faring? - 28 May 2013

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Tuesday 28th May 2013.
Sarah Mikesell - TheCropSite Senior Editor

Sarah Mikesell
Senior Editor


How are Europe's Winter, Spring Crops Faring?

Hello from a soggy Midwest! Having just returned from England on Saturday, the long US holiday weekend felt more like the cool, rainy week I spent in the UK. Almost every day in England included both rain and sun with the added bonus of hail a few days. :)

Since our Midwestern weather typically takes us right from winter into summer, this week looks to follow that pattern with temps in the 80s°F/ 27+°C, with the chance of storms every day through Friday. 

A look at Europe's crops... Parts of Europe are now starting to see warmer temps, which are helping give winter crops a boost in development and keeping yields on target to meet five-year averages, says the EU Commission’s MARS (Monitoring Agricultural Resources) Unit. That said, some regions are faring better than others.

In Western Europe, winter crops have recuperated much of the delay caused by the late spring due to a boost in temperatures. However, there are development delays in winter cereals in the British Isles and Benelux countries, lending uncertainty as to whether winter cereals can catch up in some areas.

In most of Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region, winter crops have generally developed well. Warm temperatures since mid-April have boosted crop growth about one week ahead of usual progress. However, more rainfall is needed to maintain current favourable yield forecasts for winter cereals.

Planting of spring crops was delayed across most of Europe due to abundant rainfall and persistent snow.

Spring Barley
The sowing of spring barley was delayed in most of Europe due to cold temperatures and persistent snow, including Germany and Poland, but crop development now is progressing due to more favourable temperatures and positive rainfall. Overall, growth conditions are reported to now be back to normal in terms of temperature development and rainfall distribution.

Grain Maize
Spain and Italy received abundant precipitation during the maize sowing period. This had a moderate impact on the sowings in Spain and caused significant delays in in northern Italy. In Greece, sowing conditions were favourable due to warm air temperatures and suitable soil moisture. Wet conditions in Hungary and Poland seem to have delayed sowing by one or two weeks. Sowing in western Europe will be completed by end of May.

Sugar Beet
Sugar beet sowing was delayed by up to three weeks in most of Europe’s major producing areas: in the northern regions due to cold and in the southern regions mainly due to wet. The dry conditions affected germination and crop establishment in northern regions. However, current conditions and the short-term weather outlook are favourable.

In the major European sunflower areas, the winter was extended to mid-April which delayed sunflower sowing. Despite the delay, cumulated rainfall may have replenished soil moisture. The delay might impact yields if water availability tends to decrease during the flowering stage.

Potato planting was delayed in Europe, due to cold or overly wet conditions until the beginning of April. Planting speeded up rapidly when conditions improved. The delays in early-sowing and below-average soil temperatures during germination are likely to lead to later harvesting, but yields are not expected to be seriously affected.

Have a great week!

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