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News article14 September 2020

Severe drought in south-eastern Europe

Continued hot and dry conditions in eastern Romania and eastern Bulgaria further deteriorated the outlook for maize yields.
© Gina Sanders -

The September issue of the JRC MARS Bulletin - Crop monitoring in Europe - was published today, alongside two editions of the JRC MARS Bulletin global outlook series, on Turkey and Ukraine.

Yield forecasts for EU summer crops revised further downwards

According to the crop monitoring Bulletin for Europe, at EU level, the yield forecasts for all summer crops were revised downwards, most markedly for Romania, Bulgaria and Greece. Overall, the EU-level yield forecast for summer crops is now close to the 5-year average.

Severe drought conditions continued in eastern Romania, eastern Bulgaria, and southern Ukraine, with further negative impacts mainly on maize and sunflowers. Drought is now also observed in north-eastern Greece, the country’s main sunflower production region, and a prolonged precipitation deficit has started to impact maize in central Ukraine.

In western Europe, the heatwaves reported in August were followed by a drop in temperatures, but a precipitation deficit continued in large parts of France, Belgium, Luxembourg, western Germany and the southern Netherlands, further diminishing the yield expectations for summer crops in these regions (mainly maize, sugar beet and potatoes).

In Ireland and parts of the United Kingdom, frequent and abundant precipitation since mid-August negatively affected the ripening and harvesting of spring and winter cereals.

Favourable conditions prevailed in central and northern Europe. A surplus of precipitation benefited summer crops in northern Italy, Austria, Slovakia, Czechia, Poland and Belarus.


Hot summer toned down yield expectations in Turkey

According to the Bulletin on Turkey, winter crops performed well thanks to rainfall in June, which favoured grain filling and mitigated stress from mild heatwaves. Summer crops had optimal development until August, when excessively hot temperatures reduced the high yield expectations. However, the yield forecasts for both winter and summer crops are above the 5-year average.

Substantial rain deficit reduced yield expectations in Ukraine

In Ukraine, the cropping season has been rather troubled, with a mild-winter with lower-than-usual soil moisture recharge, drought since spring in the south-west, and a prolonged rain deficit in central Ukraine lowering yield expectations. With the exception of spring barley the yields for all crops considered are expected to be below the historical trend, but certainly not dramatically low.


Survey on how COVID-19 impacts the EU’s agricultural-food supply chain

The JRC invites companies and businesses in the production, distribution, processing, wholesale or retail stages of the agri-food supply chain and associations that serve or represent their interest to participate in its survey on the impact of COVID-19 on the EU’s agricultural-food supply chain by 31 October 2020.

Survey on your relationship with buyers in the agricultural and food supply chain

The JRC invites suppliers in the agri-food supply chain – self-employed individuals, companies and other businesses active in production, distribution, processing or wholesale – to participate in its survey on unfair trading practices (UTPs) and share their experiences with their buyers by 31 January 2021.

Your responses can help provide relevant evidence for EU policymaking.

Further information

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JRC MARS (Monitoring Agricultural ResourceS) Bulletins


Publication date
14 September 2020