The European Union’s crop monitoring service on Monday lifted its yield forecasts for this year’s soft wheat, barley and rapeseed harvests with growing conditions remaining mostly favourable despite a recent dry spell.
Yields will stay below levels seen in 2014, when the EU posted record production in several crops, but exceed the average of the past five years, the MARS service said in a monthly report.
For soft wheat, the EU’s most-produced cereal, MARS increased its yield projection to 5.89 tonnes per hectare from 5.79 t/ha estimated last month. This was down three per cent on last year’s yield but 3.7 per cent above the five-year average.
MARS does not issue area or production estimates.
“In most regions, the weather conditions have been favourable for winter crop growth and spring sowings,” it said.
“Soil moisture contents are still satisfactory in the regions with rain deficits, but more rain would be welcome now, especially in Portugal.”
A dry, warm spell in Western Europe this month has raised some concern about crop stress, although analysts say weekend showers and more rain expected this week could relieve plants.
Dry northern Portugal and damp parts of southeast Europe continued to be monitored as risk zones, MARS said.
In other crops, MARS raised its outlook for this year’s all-barley yield to 4.71 t/ha from 4.63 t/ha last month.
This was down 3.6 per cent compared with 2014 but 2.5 per cent above the five-year mean.
Most of the upgrade was due to winter barley, for which the yield was raised to 5.57 t/ha from 5.44 t/h. The spring barley forecast was almost unchanged at 5.09 t/ha against 5.08 t/ha.
MARS also increased slightly its yield projection for grain maize — sowing of which is still in progress — to 7.22 t/ha from 7.19 t/ha last month. This compared with last year’s 7.93 t/ha and a five-year average of seven t/ha.
In oilseeds, MARS raised its outlook for the EU’s rapeseed yield to 3.35 t/ha from 3.24 last month. This was down 6.4 per cent on 2014 but 6.9 per cent above the five-year average.
At country level, most EU members were also expected to see a similar trend of crop yields falling from last year but surpassing the five-year average, with the notable exception of Spain, which was projected to see broad rebound from last year.
(Source – http://www.agcanada.com/daily/eu-lifts-wheat-barley-rapeseed-yield-outlook)