European Union wheat yields this year will be 0.4 percent smaller than forecast a month ago because of dry weather in Spain, the bloc’s agricultural forecasting unit said.
Average wheat yields, including soft wheat and durum, are predicted at 5.32 metric tons a hectare (2.47 acres), down from last month’s projection at 5.34 tons, the EU’s Monitoring Agricultural Resources said in a report on its website today. Last year’s average was 5.35 tons, it said.
MARS slashed its outlook for Spain’s wheat yields to 2.52 tons per hectare, down 14 percent from its forecast in May. Most regions of the Iberian Peninsula received no rain during the first half of June. Spain’s yields of durum wheat, used to make pasta, may drop to 1.2 tons per hectare, compared with 2.48 tons a year earlier, according to the report.
“The lack of rainfall has been a constant in most of the regions from the second half of May to mid-June,” MARS wrote. “Winter cereals, currently between grain filling and maturity, suffered from these water constraints, resulting in a reduction of their potential yield.”
The outlook for the harvest in France, the EU’s biggest wheat producer, is “quite positive” after crops received adequate rainfall in the past month while temperatures were only about 1 to 2 degrees Celsius (1.8 to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than normal, MARS said. German crop conditions were seen as “average,” with some areas of the north and east experiencing low soil moisture, according to the report.
MARS raised its estimate for corn yields in the EU to 7.38 tons per hectare, compared with 7.02 tons estimated last month, based on favorable conditions from France to Romania. Yields would still be below last year’s average of 7.6 tons.
The outlook for rapeseed was unchanged at 2.87 tons a hectare, MARS said. Spring barley yields were cut to 4.04 tons, compared with 4.07 tons estimated last month, while the forecast for winter crops was raised to 5.06 tons from 5.01 tons projected in May. EU sugar-beet productivity will be 69.67 tons a hectare, up from the previous estimate of 69.59 tons a hectare.
In Ukraine, hot, dry weather has left soil moisture “unusually low” in central and eastern regions, threatening to reduce winter crop yields, MARS said. Spring corn crops still “started promisingly with high yield expectations,” it said.
Winter crops in areas of southern Russia face “significant yield losses” because of “extreme” warm and dry weather since April 1, MARS said. Rain in late May and June eased some dryness, while eastern areas mostly missed out, it said.
“Most probably this precipitation arrived too late for winter crops to avoid the significant yield losses,” MARS wrote. “Nevertheless the further decrease of yield potential was stopped and additionally it will be beneficial for spring crops.”
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