According to the April issue of the JRC MARS Bulletin - Crop monitoring in Europe, published today, weather conditions in most parts of western, northern, and north-central Europe were adequate for winter crop development, and allowed for the good progress of spring sowings and other field operations.
As it is still early in the season, the crop yield forecasts for these regions are still based on historical trends.
Unfavourable weather conditions in several parts of southern and south-central Europe, led to a slight downward revision of the overall yield forecasts for winter crops.
Limited impact of cold spell on arable crops
Much of Europe – extending from central Spain to the Baltic region – experienced exceptionally cold weather in early April. Temperatures on the coldest days were as low as -8°C in parts of central Spain. Blooming fruit trees were severely impacted in some regions.
However, impacts on arable crops are likely to be very limited. The sensitive stages around the flowering of winter cereals had not yet been reached when the cold spell occurred, and yield potential of flowering rapeseed crops is only expected to be slightly reduced.
Limited impacts are also reported on recently emerged stands of early sown sugar beet.
Winter crops negatively impacted in Italy and Spain
Intense rain in southern Spain and Portugal brought relief from the preceding drought, but arrived too late to fully restore yield potential and caused some physical damage to plants.
Precipitation in central Spain was insufficient to avoid a worsening of soil moisture conditions.
Continued drought conditions in northern, central, and south-western Italy negatively impacted winter crop growth and delayed summer crop sowing. Unfavourably dry conditions – so far with limited negative impacts on winter crops – are also present in Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania and southern Ukraine.
In south-eastern Italy and Turkey, crop growth and development lag behind due to persistently below-average temperatures.
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- Publication date
- 26 April 2022
- Joint Research Centre