Thursday, 18 May 2017

April weather summary for Europe

Near- to above-normal April rainfall maintained good to excellent prospects for vegetative winter grains and oilseeds over eastern growing areas.

During April, precipitation totalled 100 to 300 percent of normal from Poland into the Danube River Valley, though somewhat drier conditions (less than 75 percent of normal) were noted in the central Balkans.

In contrast, unfavourably dry conditions in Spain, France, and England reduced soil moisture for reproductive wheat and rapeseed, with precipitation during the month totalling a meagre 5 to 30 percent of normal in many growing areas.

Dryness concerns were compounded by a protracted late-season cold snap from April into early May, as a multi-day hard freeze (-9 to -2°C) was noted in many major production areas.

Crops most at risk from freeze injury included: heading to flowering wheat in northern Spain; heading winter wheat in northern France; and flowering winter rapeseed in northeastern France.

Rain in early May eased soil moisture deficits for winter crops in France, but unfavourable dryness lingered in Spain and England.