According to the February 2020 issue of the JRC MARS Bulletin - Crop monitoring in Europe, which was published today, the period under review (1 January to 10 February) was, again, warmer than usual throughout Europe.
In large parts of France and many regions surrounding the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and in eastern Europe this was the warmest 1 January to 10 February period on our records (since 1979).
Mild winter conditions make crops more vulnerable to frost damage
As a consequence of the mild weather conditions, the frost tolerance in winter cereals – built-up to protect the crops against cold-air intrusions – remains considerably weaker than usual in Germany, Poland, the Baltic countries, southern Scandinavia, the Balkan region, south-western Russia, Ukraine, and the British Isles.
In several of these regions, the level of winter hardening is now even lower than reported in the January issue of the Bulletin.
Dry spell in Mediterranean regions
In Mediterranean regions and the northern half of the Iberian Peninsula, the warmer-than-usual conditions are accompanied by a marked deficit in precipitation.
In Romania, the drought conditions reported in the January issue of the Bulletin were alleviated by some rain in late January; however, this was insufficient to offset the cumulative deficit.
Similarly, in southern Italy and Greece, the precipitation forecast for the coming week will not be sufficient to counterbalance the winter deficit.
In most of the regions affected, this will not have a direct impact on crops, but above-average rainfall will be needed at the end of winter and in early spring to sustain optimal regrowth of winter cereals. However, in parts of the Maghreb region (e.g. central Morocco, western Algeria), the persistent rain deficit is starting to impact biomass accumulation of wheat.
- Publication date
- 17 February 2020