The Irish and UK sugar beet and potato yield for 2015 is to be above the five-year average, according to the European Commission’s latest MARS Bulletin.

The bulletin stated that the sowing of winter cereals has practically been completed in the UK and is well underway in Ireland.

September and early October was characterised by a predominance of below-average temperatures in the main cropland areas, with the most pronounced temperature deficits (up to 2°C) in the southern UK and eastern Ireland, the report found.

Below average rainfall and average solar radiation levels were favourable for the harvesting of any remaining
cereal crops, sugar beets and potatoes, along with other field activities.

EU-28 level

At EU-28 level there was a difficult start for winter crops in Eastern and Northern Europe.

Yield forecasts for summer crops at EU-28 level remain low and are comparable to last month’s forecast, the report stated.

September was warmer than usual in northern, eastern and south-eastern Europe and colder than usual in western Europe.

The MARS report stated that October has generally been colder than usual, so far, especially during the second dekad, when negative minimum temperatures occurred in many areas of central and eastern Europe.

Wetter-than-usual conditions were recorded in south-eastern Europe, southeastern France, central and southern Italy, northern Germany and several parts of northern Europe.

Large areas in south-eastern Europe faced a period of abundant rains slowing down the harvesting activities of maize and sunflower, which the report found also hampered the sowing of winter crops.

In Poland, Lithuania, western Ukraine and southern Russia, the winter crops sown in September germinated under unfavourable conditions which further worsened due to the low temperatures that occurred in October.

The sowing of winter cereals has progressed without major problems in the EU’s largest producing countries, France, Germany and the UK, according to the MARS report.