EU crop report reduces oilseed rape yields
Wednesday 25 April 2012
A very mild but predominantly dry March boosted the start of the season in central and eastern Europe followed by a so-far chilly April which has slowed crop growth. Nevertheless biomass development in Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary is not satisfactory. Finally rain arrived around the Mediterranean Sea beneficial for Spain, southern France, Italy and England.
Crop model simulations used to forecast winter cereals suggest the current prospects for EU 27 yields are on average. Compared to MARS last issued forecast rape seed has been revised down, below biomass accumulation is now apparent in the crop growth model and the yield potential has been decreased due to frost damage. The low yield potential for durum wheat in Spain is confirmed and yields are revised down compared to the last Bulletin.
Overview of crop canopies across Europe
In eastern France and western Germany, the impact of winter kill due to the cold spell in February is evident in the observed fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (fAPAR). Lorraine (FR) and Unterfranken (DE) show a reduction of biomass after what started as an anticipated year and which now results in much lower fAPAR values for the season. Western France and eastern England, which avoided the cold spell and benefited from warmer temperatures since the beginning of the year display higher fAPAR values than is normal for the season. The Iberian peninsula is still shows normal conditions in the north and a severe lack of rain in the south), where much lower than normal biomass accumulation is observed. For Italy, the fAPAR is overall close to its long term average values. In Greece, the combination of unusually low temperatures early in the year and lack of rain last autumn have resulted in delaying development and growth of winter cereals. In central Eastern and eastern European countries the late germination due to the dry autumn and the lengthy delay due to the late winter cold spell account for a bad start to the season for winter crops.
An intermingled start of the season and problems related to low biomass development are noted for Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Poland and part of Germany. Good conditions with promising yield potential so far are found in France and Italy and also the start of the spring barley season in Spain is promising. In general the current prospects for EU 27 yields are on average. Compared to MARS last issued forecasts rape seed has been revised down, below biomass accumulation is now apparent in the crop growth model and the yield potential has been decreased due to frost damage. The low yield potential for durum wheat in Spain is confirmed and yields are again revised down compared to the last Bulletin.
France - favourable weather for crop development
Mild temperatures during March and April benefited crop development, without any negative effect by water stress. The expected yields for winter cereals are around the average of the last years.
Rape seed has been considerably affected by the cold wave during February in some areas of Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine and Bourgogne, with substantial effects on crop area.
Sowing of sunflower is currently on-going under normal conditions.
Germany - mixed start to the season
Winter kill damage due to the cold spell in February and a precipitation deficit are characterizing the campaign so far. Crop growth is anticipated due to the mild temperatures in March and now slowed down by the cold April. Yield outlook is positive with yield forecasts in line with the 5 years average with the exception of rape seed (- 9 %)
Poland – winter kill in main areas
As a consequence of the winter kill damage due to the cold spell in February winter crops yield is forecast below the five-year average; soft wheat and rye by - 5%, triticale, winter barley and oil rapeseed by
UK and Ireland – a warm and especially dry period
Crop growth and development is more precocious due to warmer than-usual conditions. Drought may not cause much problem to winter crops if current April rains continue.
Spain and Portugal – winter crops in the south droughted
Dry period during winter has limited severely the winter crop development in the South of both countries. Yield expectations for durum wheat in Spain; soft wheat and barley in Portugal are therefore substantially affected.
Black Sea area
Ukraine - unfavourable autumn and frost kill
Insufficient soil moisture in autumn caused poor conditions of crops before the winter dormancy. Harsh winter caused losses in already weakened crops.
European Russia - good prospects for next season EUROPEAN
The weather conditions until now were fair for winter crops in Russia. The extreme cold spell in February caused just moderate frost kill damages mainly in the southern regions. The precipitation was seasonal or above the climatological norm. The soil moisture content is sufficient. The winter crops development is satisfactory with mostly above average biomass accumulation.
MARS stands for Monitoring Agriculture Resources.