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News article20 February 2023Joint Research Centre

Fair winter conditions after a very warm start

No frost-kill damage is expected as winter temperatures return to normal after an exceptionally warm period. There are still concerns for crops in several regions (Spain, Italy, Türkiye and the Maghreb) which experienced a distinct rainfall deficit.

Winter cereals
Winter crops in most parts of Europe remain in fair to good condition.
© R. T. Ayabe

According to the February 2023 issue of the JRC MARS Bulletin - Crop monitoring in Europe, thermal conditions since the beginning of the year were characterised by a transition from exceptionally warm to more normal winter conditions in most agricultural regions, yet without distinct cold spells.

As a result, winter crops resumed their build-up of frost tolerance, and no frost-kill damage is expected to have occurred beyond that which was reported in the January edition of the Bulletin.

According to the current weather forecast, the risk of frost damage in the coming days remains very low, even in northern, southern-central and eastern Europe, where the temperature surplus was more persistent.

Dry weather remains a concern in southern regions

Several regions experienced (and some continued to experience) a distinct rainfall deficit. This is of particular concern in southern and central Spain, northern Italy, western Türkiye and the Maghreb region.

In Spain, Italy, and Türkiye, the main concern for crops is the continued low level of water stored in reservoirs and in snow packs (particularly in northern Italy). This water will be needed for irrigation in spring and summer, as crop water demands increase.

A detailed discussion of the drought situation in the Maghreb and the expected impacts on cereal yields is provided in the JRC MARS Bulletin on North Africa.

No negative impacts expected from surplus rainfall in southern-central regions

A rainfall surplus is observed in parts of Slovakia, Hungary, and Croatia, as well as in central Romania, but drier-than-usual conditions are forecast for the coming days in these regions and crop impacts are not seen as a matter for concern at present.

Areas of Concern - MARS bulletin for Europe - February 2023

Further information

JRC MARS (Monitoring Agricultural Resources) Bulletins


The latest information about global agricultural production hotspots for countries at risk of food insecurity is available on the JRC’s ASAP (Anomaly hot Spots of Agricultural Production).


Publication date
20 February 2023
Joint Research Centre
JRC portfolios
Green transition