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Nyhedsartikel25 Februar 2019

Weakening frost tolerance, so far no threat to winter crops

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Frost damage to winter cereals has been minor so far, this winter, despite low levels of frost tolerance in large parts of Europe.
© Adobe Stock, by aleksstelmakh

According to the February 2019 issue of the JRC MARS Crop monitoring in Europe Bulletin, which was published today, the review period (1 January to 18 February 2019) was predominantly warmer than usual in most of Europe, in particular from the beginning of February.

As a consequence of these mild conditions, frost damage has been minor so far. However, due to the same mild weather conditions, the low-temperature acclimatisation of winter cereals (winter hardening) remains weak, or has weakened in large parts of Europe.

The current low levels of hardening in Germany and Denmark, as well as in southern Romania and northern Bulgaria, are uncommon and raise some concern about possible frost-kill damage in the event of severe cold-air intrusion. Nevertheless, no further frost-kill losses are expected within the forecast period (up to the end of February), despite expected colder weather in the Balkan region.

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Several parts of Europe recorded a rain deficit. This was most evident in large parts of the Iberian Peninsula and the western Maghreb region, where rainfall has been substantially below average since the beginning of December. So far, these dry conditions generally do not represent an immediate concern for crops.

In contrast, some parts of south-eastern Europe experienced more than 200 mm of rainfall within the analysis period, which corresponds to more than double the average amount for many areas in this region.

Further information

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MARS bulletins - crop monitoring in Europe

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25 Februar 2019