Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Latest USDA weather update for Europe

Unseasonably warm weather prevailed, with beneficial rain arriving across key winter crop areas of central and western Europe.

Temperatures during the period averaged 5 to 8°C above normal from Germany into Poland and the Balkans, accelerating winter wheat and rapeseed out of dormancy 2 to 4 weeks ahead of average.

The early winter crop greening has heightened the need for moisture across much of southeastern Europe following a drier-than-normal winter.

In contrast, moderate to heavy rain (15-70 mm) improved soil moisture for vegetative winter wheat in France, while lighter showers (4-50 mm) improved topsoil moisture for winter crops in Germany.

Likewise, moderate to heavy rain (10-50 mm, locally more) in the United Kingdom benefited early-developing winter crops, while lighter, variable shower activity (2-44 mm) in Spain was generally beneficial for vegetative wheat and barley.

Warmer-than-normal weather (1-4°C above normal) in England, France, and northern Spain encouraged a rapid winter crop development pace but left wheat and rapeseed in typically colder northern growing areas more vulnerable to any potential late-season hard freezes.