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News article23 May 2022Joint Research Centre2 min read

Rain needed to sustain fair yield outlook for crops in Europe

JRC MARS Bulletin - Crop monitoring in Europe and JRC MARS Bulletin - Global outlook series on Turkey: Yield forecasts for EU winter crops are revised slightly downwards due to drier-than-usual conditions in most parts of Europe.  

Winter cereals are reaching the sensitive stage of flowering, when they are particularly sensitive to stress.
Winter cereals are reaching the sensitive stage of flowering, when they are particularly sensitive to stress.
© Vilor - 2022

Yield forecasts for EU winter crops revised slightly downwards

According to the May issue of the JRC MARS Bulletin - Crop monitoring in Europe, published today, weather observed during the review period - 1 April to 15 May - was marked by drier-than-usual conditions in most parts of Europe, with negative effects on the climatic water balance. The yield forecasts for winter crops were revised slightly downwards at EU level, but remain above the 5-year average.

Table April

Pronounced rain deficit in important grain producing regions

A pronounced rain deficit is observed in important parts of France, the Benelux countries, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and Ukraine. The resulting gradual depletion of soil moisture reserves has negative effects on winter crops. So far negative impacts on crops have been mostly minor and reversible. However, substantial rainfall in the coming weeks will be necessary to sustain the yield potential. The most affected regions are those where temperatures accelerated soil drying: central France, northern Bulgaria, southern and eastern Romania and western Ukraine.

In Spain, central agricultural areas are affected by high temperatures, causing rapid depletion of soil moisture with negative impacts on winter cereals and spring barley.

Drought conditions in Italy were mitigated by significant precipitation around the end of April. Nonetheless, the high temperatures forecast from mid-May are expected to move those regions back under a harmful drought spell.

Areas of concern - winter and summer crops

Cold spring delayed crop growth and development in Turkey

According to the JRC MARS Bulletin on Turkey, winter crops in the country are marked by a significant delay in development due to a delayed start to sowing campaign in autumn and cold spells in winter and early spring. This resulted in lower-than-usual biomass accumulation. Such conditions are still recoverable, as already occurred in the past, and are not a sign of low yield potential. However, the late development increases the risk of yield reduction due to heat stress during flowering or grain filling.

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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) site.



Publication date
23 May 2022
Joint Research Centre