Improved yield expectations for spring barley in Europe

The European Commission released a more positive yield outlook for summer crops in this month’s MARS Bulletin published on July 27.

The report stated: “The predominantly favourable weather conditions contributed to an improved yield outlook in several regions.”

The commission revised yield forecasts from its June issue. Most notably the forecast for spring barley was revised upwards by 6.4%. This was as a result of “improved or continued favourable conditions in almost all major producing countries”.

The forecast for winter wheat was revised downwards due to reduced forecasts in Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.

Heavy rain at the time of ripening in these countries was not helpful following a tough season. The decreased forecast in these countries outweighed the slight increase in other countries according to the commission.

The majority of crops saw a positive increase in yield forecasts since the June report. However, forecasts for grain maize and sunflowers are still above the five-year average.

The report noted that: “Close-to-average weather conditions, with well-distributed rainfall and relatively few hot spells [since the June report], have been favourable to crops in many parts of Europe.

Extreme weather events with significant negative impacts – mostly on winter crops – occurred in much of central Europe, south-western Finland and southern Russia.


Reporting on Ireland, the commission’s publication stated: “Substantial rainfall helped to restore soil moisture in many areas.

“Temperatures were favourable for grain filling. Nonetheless, due to the difficult season that created patchy fields and variable crop conditions across the country, yield forecasts were maintained slightly below the average.”

The report noted that the moderate temperatures at grain filling resulted in higher-than-usual KPH values in some areas. However, poor conditions at sowing and thin, patchy crops were always going to limit yield.

As a result, yield forecasts stayed slightly below the average.