After suffering from drought conditions earlier this season, parts of Europe now have a rain surplus, while some regions are still in a rain deficit.

The MARS Bulletin, published by the European Commission on Monday (October 26), stated that wet conditions at the end of September and into October delayed the harvesting of summer crops, as well as sowing activities.

The bulletin outlined that crop yields are forecast to decrease. Yields of grain maize, potatoes, sugar beet, sunflowers and soybeans were all revised down from the September report. However, yields of potatoes and soybeans are still estimated to be up on the five-year average.

“At EU level, the yield forecasts for all summer crops were revised downwards, mostly based on a reanalysis of data since the start of the season.”

Rain deficits were reported in parts of Portugal, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Ukraine and Russia.

According to the report: “Rapeseed sowings were hampered in France, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine, where dry summer conditions prolonged into September, preventing timely sowing. In general, the sowing window has come to an end, also for late varieties.

“The sowing campaign of winter cereals started mainly in dry conditions across Europe. While it was concluded mostly in October in northern regions, it was delayed in many western, central and eastern regions – initially due to dry soil conditions for most of September, and later due to overly wet conditions.”

However, there is still time to plant winter cereals across the continent.

Irish conditions

Commenting on the winter sowing campaign in Ireland, the report noted “winter sowing started with favourable soil conditions and within the optimal window”.

Sowing progressed more rapidly in the south of the country as heavier rain fell in northern and eastern areas at the end of September and the beginning of October.

By the end of the review period (October 20) for this report much of the delay in progress had been recovered.

The forage maize harvest was also progressing well with little change in yield since the last report.