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News article21 June 2021

Improved yield outlook for EU winter crops

Warmer temperatures and adequate moisture supply led to accelerated growth of winter crops and spring cereals, but summer crops benefited much less from the improved weather conditions, so far.
© R.T. Ayabe

The June issue of the JRC MARS Bulletin - Crop monitoring in Europe - was published today, alongside the June edition of the Bulletins on North Africa and Ukraine, in the JRC MARS Bulletin global outlook series.

Yield forecasts for winter crops in EU revised further upwards

At EU level, the yield forecasts for all winter crops and spring barley were revised upwards. The yield outlook for soft wheat, barley, rye and rapeseed is now firmly above the 5-year average. Expectations for summer crops are mixed, and bear a larger margin of uncertainty as it is still early in the season.

Warmer temperatures and adequate moisture supply favourable for crops

In large parts of Europe, distinctly cooler-than-usual temperatures, as reported in the May bulletin, gradually gave way to average or above-average values. The warmer temperatures, combined with adequate moisture supply, accelerated biomass accumulation and phenological development of winter crops and spring cereals, thus improving the yield outlook. So far, summer crops benefited much less from these improvements.

Continued cooler-than-usual temperatures in central Europe prolonged the delay in winter crops, but helped to avoid water stress during a period of scarce precipitation.

Rain deficits in central Italy and Portugal had limited negative impacts on the winter crops in advanced stages of development, whereas rainfall surpluses in south-western Spain and the southern Black Sea region had predominantly beneficial effects on crops.

Overly wet conditions in the Baltic region led to increased pressure from pests and diseases and hampered field activities. Furthermore, in northern Germany/southern Denmark, reduced radiation around the flowering stage of winter cereals decreased yield potential.


Belt of negatively impacted cereals in North Africa, centered on Algeria

According to the JRC MARS Bulletin on North Africa, the cereal campaign in North Africa was marked by rainfall deficits often accompanied by above-average temperatures in Algeria, central Tunisia and western Libya.

Seasonal conditions in terms of water supply and temperatures prevailed in Morocco and the north-eastern Maghreb.

Unfavourable weather conditions hampered crop biomass accumulation during grain filling in large parts of Algeria.

Dry conditions hampered crop growth along the north-western coast of Libya.

Beneficial weather conditions sustained the cereals campaign in Morocco, allowing above-average crop biomass accumulation from flowering to ripening.

Average to positive growth conditions are registered for cereals in the main coastal and inland agricultural areas of Tunisia.

As a consequence, the yield outlook for cereals is above the 5-year average in Tunisia and (most distinctly) in Morocco, and distinctly below the 5-year average in Algeria; whereas the yield outlook for Libya and Egypt is more in line with the 5-year average.


Adverse conditions jeopardise a positive outlook in Ukraine

In Ukraine, favourable conditions were observed until the end of May, leading to good biomass accumulation and a very promising yield potential.

The stormy weather subsequently observed in the south and east of the country is expected to have a negative impact on wheat quality and quantity, increasing uncertainty about what was expected to be a record yield.


Further information

JRC MARS (Monitoring Agricultural Resources) Bulletins

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

Related Content

JRC MARS (Monitoring Agricultural Resources) Bulletins


Publication date
21 June 2021