The latest Monitoring Agricultural Resources (MARS) Crop monitoring in Europe bulletin (Vol. 21 No. 6) was published on 17 June 2013. The bulletin reviews crop growth conditions across the EU-27 from March to early June. Despite the extreme weather events experienced over the period of review, total cereal yield forecasts are higher than last year for the EU-27 as a whole.
The period since March was characterised by weather extremes and contrasts. The spring period was characterised by below-average temperatures, with March being one of the coldest months on record in most of central and northern Europe. This led to delays in crop development of winter cereals and in spring sowing. From April to May, conditions were generally milder than usual in eastern and southern Europe, while central Europe experienced an exceptionally wet and cold May. In contrast, cumulated active temperatures were above average in eastern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean region by the end of May. More rainfall than usual was recorded in most of Europe, sometimes at record-breaking levels, while some areas received less rain than usual. This also affected sowing of spring crops, particularly in central Europe.
While the crop forecasts of some countries have suffered under these conditions, others have benefited from the unusual weather conditions, leading to an overall yield forecast for the EU-27 that is above that of 2012. Soft wheat forecasts are close to the 5-year average, and yield expectations for durum wheat, barley and grain maize are above average.
The MARS bulletin gives an agro-meteorological overview, remote sensing analysis and a country analysis of each EU-27 Member State and neighbouring countries, crop yield forecast and yield maps for the EU-27, a remote-sensing-based review of pastures in Europe, and a series of maps documenting weather and crop development conditions for the period.