EU forecasts grain yields to decrease from 2014

A new report by the European Commission has predicted that EU grain yields will decrease this year despite the mild winter conditions parts of Europe experienced.

“Winter crops are generally in good shape and well developed in the EU due to the mild winter conditions. In general, prospects for the new season are promising,” it says.

The Monitoring Agriculture ResourceS (Mars) report forecasts that the EU barley yield will drop from 4.91 t/ha in 2014 to 4.63 t/ha in 2015, a decrease of 5.5% from 2014. The EU wheat yield will decrease by 5%, from 5.84 t/ha to 5.55 t/ha.

The report predicts that EU maize yields will decrease by 4.3% from last year.

Irish wheat yields are forecast to decrease by 10% and barley yields are also expected to be down by 5.5%, the Mars report says. The barley yields are broken down to spring and winter barley with Irish spring barley forecast to decrease by 4.5% and Irish winter barley yields are expected to drop by 2.1%.

“Overall thermal conditions during winter have been average or slightly warmer than usual in the UK, and slightly colder than usual in Ireland. There were fewer frost events than normal in both countries, and minimum temperatures remained above -50C in the main crop-producing areas,” the Mars report says.

The Mars report says that overall precipitation levels were below average in Ireland and that since the beginning of February, rainfall levels have been below average in Ireland, providing good soil moisture conditions for the start of field operations.

The Mars report also has a frost kill analysis. It says that no frost tolerance is simulated in western and southern Europe and that the majority of frost-kill events occurred in December and the first half of January. No significant damage has been simulated since late January, it found.

2015 EU grain forecasts. Image: European Commission
2015 EU grain forecasts. Image: European Commission