Crop Explorer - Commodity Intelligence Reports - Europe

Commodity Intelligence Reports - Europe

Sep 4 2018 | France: Heavy Spring Rains and Summer Drought Negatively Affect 2018/19 Crops
Excessive spring rains (Figure 1) and summer drought (Figure 2), have greatly affected French agriculture during 2018. France is the European Union’s (EU) agricultural powerhouse, the leading producer of both wheat (Figure 3) and rapeseed (Figure 4), and usually the largest corn producer (Figure 5) as well. This year, however, Romania exceeded France’s corn production. For the 2018/19 season, agriculture in northern Europe has struggled with poor weather, and crop production estimates were lowered throughout the region because of the unfavorable conditions. The most damaging weather has been drought, stretching from Belgium to Estonia (Figure 6). Germany, the EU’s second-largest producer of wheat and rapeseed, was severely impacted (Figure 7). Satellite-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Indices (NDVI) show the decline in vegetation health in Germany dipping below average, starting in early June and lasting all summer (Figure 8). Other large reductions this season include, but are not limited to, Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Belgium (Figure 9). In France the drought was not as prolonged as in Germany, but France’s misfortunes began with excessive rain during spring. Analysts from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), including FAS staff from Paris conducted crop-assessment travel in northern France at the end of June, 2018.

Dec 13 2016 | Bulgaria: Wheat Harvest Sets Record; Drought Reduces Yield Prospects for Corn
2016/17 Winter Crop Conditions: Record Wheat and Rapeseed Bulgaria’s main winter crops, wheat and rapeseed, benefited from plentiful spring rainfall and mild temperatures, and farmers reported high yields for both crops. Quality was also reported to be high. Dryness during the mid-summer enabled the harvest to progress rapidly.

Nov 30 2016 | Serbia: Record Wheat and Near-Record Corn Production
Predominantly favorable weather during 2016 in non-EU member natio Serbia enabled record wheat andnear-record corn yields to be achieved. The 2016 weather was without damaging heat or prolonged dryness but temperatures during April and May were unusually cool and rainfall was excessive in the major crop areas in June. The cool and wet spring delayed the development of summer crops. delayed the development of summer crops.

Sep 2 2015 | United Kingdom: Crop Production Report
Crop Production USDA estimates 2015/16 United Kingdom (UK) wheat at 15.3 million metric tons (figure 1); barley at 6.8 million tons, oats at 0.7 million tons. The only significantly produced oilseed in the UK is rapeseed, with 2015/16 production estimated at 2.2 million tons (figure 2). The UK is the third largest wheat producer in the European Union (EU) (figure 3) and the fourth largest in rapeseed output (figure 4). The UK’s five-year average wheat yield of 7.61 tons/hectare (T/Ha) is among the EU’s highest. The most significant grain crops in the UK are wheat, barley, and oats. For the UK or other EU member-state area and production totals, please download the EU Countries Area & Production file at:

Jul 29 2010 | Spain's 2010/11 Grain Crop Is Higher Than Last Year's Drought-Afflicted Crop
A severe drought in 2009 created planting and emergence problems for the 2010/11 Spanish winter grains crop, and drastically lowered yields for the established 2009/10 crop. Rainfall was far below average from late February until December 2009, resulting in reduced soil moisture and limited irrigation opportunities as reservoir levels fell. Farmers began the 2010/11 planting campaign struggling with the on-going drought. Relief did not arrive until December 2009 when widespread, heavy rains fell across the country. These recurrent, heavy rains lasted until March 2010, with the highest totals occurring in southern Spain, particularly in the region of Andalucia. Flooded fields and pools of standing water prevented plant growth. Fertilizers and other applications were either not applied, were diluted, or were washed away. Fieldwork was nearly impossible, forcing many farmers to sow later in the season and after the optimal planting dates.

Aug 29 2008 | July Crop Travel in Poland Revealed Good Conditions for Autumn Sown Crops
During early July members of USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) traveled through Poland meeting with various agriculture industry professionals, and toured farms, and assessed crop conditions. This report is a summary of the trip, including observations and photographs, and estimates from USDA's August World Agriculture Supply and Demand release.

Oct 26 2006 | Bulgaria: 2006/07 Crop Update
Bulgaria's 2006/07 sunflower crop is estimated to reach both record production and record area, while corn production is estimated to be down slightly from last year. Both of these spring-sown crops saw mixed results because of variable summer weather. Harvested winter wheat and winter barley are estimated to be at or below last year?s production level because of winterkill and spring flooding.

Oct 13 2006 | Hungary: Winter Crop Production Drops after Two Consecutive Bumper Harvests
Hungary's 2006/07 grain output is estimated by USDA to be lower than both the 2004/05 record and the 2005/06 bumper harvests. Detrimental winter and early spring weather lowered yields of autumn-sown crops but the principle summer crops of corn and sunflowerseed are expected to have done well, with sunflowerseed estimated at record production this season. Weather was nearly ideal in September and by the beginning of October about 65 percent of sunflowerseed crop had been harvested and 6-7 percent of the corn crop had been harvested.

Sep 27 2006 | France: Winter Crop Yields Fell During the Season
Winter crop yields in France have fallen during the course of the growing season. High expectations were lowered by a long winter, a short spring, and a very hot, early summer. These events stressed crops, reduced the size and weight of their grain and seeds, and lowered yield. Crop travel in the corn region of southwest France revealed good yields, but lower planted area.

Feb 15 2005 | Dry Conditions Threaten 2005/06 Crops In Spain and Portugal
Spain and Portugal continue to be the exceptions in the overall, favorable-weather pattern that has existed in the European Union (EU) since planting last autumn. The normal "rainy season" failed to materialize in Spain and Portugal as stationary, high-pressure blocked approaching, rain-producing systems almost all season.

Jan 25 2005 | Synthetic Diesel May Play a Significant Role as Renewable Fuel in Germany
The Fischer-Tropsch process invented by German coal researchers in 1923, but brought up to date could possibly, in the next ten years, utilize one million hectares of Germany's agricultural land to produce 4 million tons of synthetic diesel fuel and replace 13 percent of Germany's current diesel use.

Nov 4 2004 | Romania and Bulgaria: Crop Travel Confirms
Romania and Bulgaria, along with most of southeast and central Europe, have experienced an excellent 2004/05 season for both the winter and summer crops. Crop travel was conducted in Romania and Bulgaria by members of USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), which confirmed the favorable status of both 2004/05 winter and summer crops. In general, the two Balkan nations' agricultural production had benefited greatly from favorable weather almost all season long. Actually, favorable weather was widespread throughout Europe this year, creating bumper crops and record yields in most all countries. During USDA's late August trip, producers reported that a large winter wheat crop had already been cut from the fields, while observations showed robust summer crops in the fields.

Dec 1 2003 | Poland: Basic Agriculture
Earlier this year, a group from USDAs Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) traveled through Poland to assess the countrys 2003/04 crop and the situation and attitudes of Polish as EU accession nears. Several central European nations, including Poland, are well into the last year before formal integration into the European Union on May 1, 2004. The following report is based largely on observation during field travel and interviews conducted with various Polish agribusiness representatives while in Poland. Additional analysis from the Production Estimates and Crop Assessment Division (PECAD) is also included in the report.

Jun 19 2003 | Germany: Field Travel Reveals Conditions and Trends
In its official release on June 11, USDA forecast wheat yields in Germany to be higher than last year, although still below the 5-year average of 7.4 tons per hectare. The wheat crop is now in the critical period that will determine final yields. Last year, heat spikes halted plant growth, and reduced the wheat yield forecast by nearly one ton per hectare (a total of 2.7 million tons) in just a two month period. There have been temperature spikes again in 2003, although plants will probably fare better than last year because a spring dry period forced them to develop extensive root systems for scavenging water. In addition, many places had good rainfall before the heat started, and frequent thunderstorms have provided timely moisture. Wheat is expected to be harvested in August.

Nov 20 2002 | Germany: Rapeseed Production Insufficient for Expanding Biodiesel Industry
Germany will not have the ability to provide enough domestically produced rapeseed to supply its expanding biodiesel industry. Increases in oilseed or vegetable oil imports, and/or corresponding decreases in exports will be needed. A report released by the U.S. Agricultural Minister Counselor in Berlin (FAS) (pdf) (Word Perfect) in October provided an overview of the biodiesel industry. The industry is for the most part focused on producing just one kind of biodiesel, rapeseed methyl ester, which can be produced from the oil of domestically produced rapeseed. The report concluded that biodiesel is not competitive with petrodiesel on its own, but is being made competitive with a tax exemption on motor fuels. Producing biodiesel is expensive, ¬around 530 ¬ (euros) per 1000 liters. Producing petrodiesel costs much less, about 225 ¬ per 1000 liters. German mineral oil and ecological taxes amount to 439.7 ¬ per 1000 liters, and result in a cost of 665 ¬ per 1000 liters for petrodiesel before distribution and marketing Biodiesel is exempt from these two taxes in Germany. A 16-percent value added tax is added at the retail level for both petro and biodiesel.

Oct 3 2002 | Italy: Near-Normal Conditions in the Po River Valley
A recent crop tour, September 22-24, 2002, by FAS personnel revealed that corn and soybean conditions in the Po River Valley of northern Italy are near normal. Corn production is estimated at 10.5 million tons, which is slightly more than last year, mostly due to improvements in yield. Italy is the second largest producer of corn in the European Union, after France. Soybean production is estimated to be 0.7 million tons, a reduction of nearly 0.2 million from last year because of a decrease in area. Italy is the largest producer of soybeans in the European Union, accounting for over two-thirds of all soybeans produced. This was the first growing season that grain and oilseed support payments have been harmonized, removing the incentive to plant soybeans.

Jul 30 2002 | Prices, Demand, Biodiesel Raise German Rapeseed Output
German rapeseed production is estimated to increase in 2002/03 from last year despite Agenda 2000 reforms that are reducing support for the crop. Production of rapeseed is estimated at 4.5 million tons (see table) for 2002/03, up 8 percent from last year. The increase year-to-year is somewhat of a surprise, because compensation payments were reduced for oilseeds in the European Union this year in line with Agenda 2000 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reforms. When crops are harvested this season, it will be the first year that oilseed payments are fully aligned with grain payments. Oilseed payments were reduced this year while grain payments were increased.

Jul 22 2002 | A Production Perspective on Rye
Rye production in the European Union is well in excess of demand, with unused product piling up in ever increasing stocks (see figure 1). Germany is currently the largest producer. The Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) has helped maintain Germanys level of rye production over time while consumption has decreased (figure 2). Germany produces some 2 million metric tons of surplus rye annually that is either stored in government (intervention) facilities or exported to countries such as South Korea, Japan, and China.

Jul 1 2002 | Italy: Po River Valley Crop Update
Crop growth has been substantial this month in the major corn and soybean producing region of Italy, the Po River Valley. Most of the Po River Valley is irrigated, and the corn and soybean harvest will take place between September and November. Precipitation was abundant throughout the spring, and the recent warm, dry weather has been favorable. Observations of fields near Palazzolo Sull'Oglio (image 1) and Ostiglia (image 2) in the Lombardia region show that crops have made significant growth progress recently. Based on the Hanway Growth Model, corn is likely in the eight to twelve leaf stage, and growing rapidly.

May 14 2002 | Spanish Barley and Soft Wheat Output Could Be Better Than 2001
Spring weather conditions have been generally favorable for wheat and barley production in the two major growing regions in Spain, Castilla y Leon and Castilla-La Mancha, situated on the "Meseta," or "table region" of Spain. This plateau is at an elevation of over 500 meters above sea level . Nearly two-thirds of the barley and soft wheat in Spain are grown on the Meseta, and the crops are susceptible to extreme weather in the winter and spring months. This year, the crops fared well through the winter, and spring weather has generally been better than last year's. In 2000, Spanish barley production was nearly 11.3 million tons, but last year it fell to less than 6.3 million, due to minimal precipitation and high temperatures during late spring. Click on a region below to view a link to comparisons of precipitation and average temperatures for Castilla y Leon and Castilla-La Mancha in 2001 and thus far in 2002. Click on the following link to see a Landsat7 image of the Duero Valley (50 km east of Valladolid) in Castilla y Leon, acquired on April 29, 2002.

Apr 18 2002 | Recent Rainfall in Po River Valley Improves Soil Moisture
The graphic below illustrates the widespread rainfall that fell in the Po River Valley from April 1st through the 16th. This timely rainfall boosted soil moisture levels from previously low levels. Click on the following links to view graphs of soil moisture, precipitation events, and cumulative precipitation since January 1, 2002. The recent rainfall has most likely slowed field work for the current season, but the improved soil moisture will create favorable conditions for seeds once they are in the ground. Italy is the EU's largest producer of soybeans and rice, and the second largest producer of corn. These crops are produced primarily in the irrigated Po River Valley.

Jan 28 2002 | Dry Conditions Threaten Po Valley Prospects
Precipitation in the Po River Valley in northern Italy has been below normal for the past several months. The map below shows the percent normal cumulative precipitation from November 1, 2001 to January 20, 2002, illustrating the current deficit in the northern and central regions of the country. Italy is the European Union's largest producer of soybeans and rice, and the second largest producer of corn. These crops are produced primarily in the Po River Valley, a majority of which is irrigated. However, if the dry weather continues into March, poor planting conditions could result, and reservoir levels for the upcoming summer growing season would be reduced. Click on the Po River Valley region of the map to view a graph of cumulative rainfall since November 1, 2001.

Sep 16 2001 | Field Travel Reveals Excellent Summer Crop Prospects in Hungary, Croatia, and Bosnia
USDA/FAS staff from Washington, the agriculture attaché in Vienna, and the agricultural specialist from FAS/Budapest traveled through Bosnia, Croatia, and Hungary assessing crop conditions at the end of August. The team saw good crops of corn and sunflowerseed in Hungary, Croatia, and Bosnia. This is an improvement compared to last season, when much of the region struggled with a severe drought.

Oct 19 2000 | Flooding in Italy's Po Valley
Heavy rains hit northern Italy causing floods in the agriculturally rich Po Valley as the harvest of summer crops was well under way (see rainfall map for Oct 8-16, 2000 and Oct 8-16, 1999). Mild precipitation covered a large part of northern Italy Wednesday and Thursday, October 11 and 12, moistening the top soil so that the ground was quickly saturated when heavy rainfall began Saturday October 14. Rains were continuing in the region as of Tuesday October 17. Worst hit was the prime rice producing area in the Piedmont area of the western Po Valley. The corn harvest is also expected to be delayed by the heavy precipitation, and some grain storage facilities have reportedly been flooded. Soybeans generally are grown towards the east end of the valley and are not thought to be seriously affected. Though it is still too early to get a full assessment of the damage, corn, rice, and soybeans tend to be tolerant of heavy rain at harvest if farmers can get back to the fields within a reasonable period of time.

Jul 18 2000 | Bumper wheat crop in Spain and Portugal
Spain and Portugal overcame poor winter conditions to arrive at a bumper wheat harvest. Spain's expected wheat harvest is up 40 percent from last year, and up 1 million tons from estimates earlier in the season. Portugal's expected harvest is up 30 percent from last year and up 65,000 tons from earlier in the season. Farmers were concerned about dry conditions and unusually high temperatures over the winter, but timely rainfall in the spring saved the crop from serious damage. Plentiful rain boosted yields over the rest of the growing season. The Iberian Peninsula has now had so much rainfall that farmers are worrying about wheat quality.

Apr 12 2000 | Recent Rains Improve Crop Prospects in Spain and Portugal
Spain and Portugal are expected to plant more area to winter grains in 2000/01 than 1999/2000 due to changes in the European Unions Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and to nearly ideal seeding conditions. However, the 1999 - 2000 winter was very dry and the Iberian peninsula appeared to be facing a second year of drought. Rainfall during the end of March and beginning of April has greatly improved winter grain prospects, but average rainfall during April and May will still be necessary in order to ensure a good winter crop. Low reservoir levels will likely dampen this years spring crop planting.

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