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News article26 April 2021

Limited impacts of cold spells on annual crops

Annual crops are faring relatively well despite the unusually cold conditions in many parts of Europe
© Theodora Tsibo

According to the April issue of the JRC MARS Bulletin - Crop monitoring in Europe, which was published today, many parts of Europe experienced colder-than-usual temperatures during the period of review (1 March – 20 April), with distinct cold spells around mid-March and in the first half of April.

Minimum temperatures on the coldest days were among the lowest in our records in a large belt extending from Scotland to southern Italy and Greece. Temperatures during this period strongly contrasted with a warm weather anomaly at the end of March.


Marked rain deficits were experienced in Mediterranean regions and in several parts of western and central Europe.

The cold and/or dry weather conditions hampered the growth and development of winter crops and caused delays to the sowing and emergence of spring and summer crops. Nevertheless, as it is still early in the season, negative impacts on annual crops are expected to have been very limited, and in only a few cases have led to significant downward revision of the yield forecasts, such as for rapeseed and durum wheat in France and several crops in Italy.

Impacts on vineyards and fruit trees have been severe, however.

The temperature surplus in northern regions and the precipitation surplus in eastern Europe and central Mediterranean regions were mostly favourable for crop growth.


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.

For email notifications of new Bulletins, please subscribe through the JRC's Agri4Cast ToolBox

The May 2021 issue of the Bulletin will be published on Tuesday 25 May.

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JRC MARS (Monitoring Agricultural Resources) Bulletins


Publication date
26 April 2021