Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Latest USDA weather update for Europe

A stationary area of high pressure maintained dry albeit cold weather across western portions of the continent, while bitter cold caused winterkill in the northern Balkans.

Sunny skies and below-normal temperatures were favorable for overwintering wheat and rapeseed in France and western Germany.

Dry, chilly weather also prevailed across the Mediterranean region, promoting seasonal fieldwork but slowing winter grain development.

However, freezes were noted in typically-warmer Mediterranean coastal areas, threatening specialty crops from eastern Spain into Italy and Greece.

Farther inland, moisture remained limited for vegetative wheat and barley in northern Spain, with localized but pronounced short-term drought continuing to adversely impact barley and wheat development in Castilla y León.

Farther east, widespread snow fell from southern and eastern Germany into most of eastern Europe, though Hungary and adjacent portions of Serbia and Romania missed out on the snow.

As a result, dormant winter crops were protected from readings below -20°C (locally less than -25°C) across much of central and eastern Europe.

However, snow-free areas of the northern Balkans likely suffered widespread burnback and winterkill due to extreme cold (-22 to -18°C), with the greatest likelihood of significant freeze damage noted in Hungary and northern Serbia.