Dry weather takes toll on EU corn crop


European soft wheat prospects have been badly hit by the wet weather seen in early summer, but now dry weather is increasing concerns for corn, as the European Union cut its forecast for yields.

Mars, the EU's crop monitoring service, cut its forecast for the bloc's grain production prospects by 2.9%, thanks to sharply reductions in wheat and corn prospects.

Grain corn yield prospects were cut to 7.23 tonnes a hectare, compared to the 7.42 tonnes forecast last month.

"The growth of summer crops is slightly delayed in most of Europe," Mars said.

But corn prospects are still 0.30 tonnes a hectare above the 5-year average.

Dry weather in France, Black Sea

Prospects have grown worse due to unfavourable weather in the EU's top grain corn grower France.

"[In France] grain corn and green corn are forecast slightly below the average due the over-wet conditions at sowing but also considering the dry conditions observed lastly," Mars said.

 "Since the beginning of July, only a few rainfall events were recorded and, except in the south-eastern regions, cumulated rainfall is largely below the average," Mars said.

"Exceptionally high corn yields are forecast for Hungary (29.6% above the five-year average) but the forecast was lowered in Bulgaria and Romania where dry conditions compromised the corn yield potential," Mars said.

The corn crop in Ukraine is also under threat, as Mars noted that "soil moisture decreased substantially during the last weeks and some rain will be needed in the coming weeks to sustain the growth of summer crops".

"Grain maize is currently forecast above the average but could be revised down if no substantial rainfall is recorded in near time," Mars said.

Wheat yield prospects cut again

Prospects for soft wheat yields across the bloc were slashed by 0.24 tonnes per hectare, to 5.86 tonnes per hectare.

The reduction was driven by greatly reduced yield prospects in France, due to the wet spring and early summer, and low radiation levels that slowed development there.

French wheat yields were cut by 11% from the July forecast.

Yield prospects in Germany, the bloc's second largest wheat grower, were left unchanged from last month.


Readers choice: TOP-5 articles of the month by UkrAgroConsult