Winter Crop Plantings in Eastern Europe Seen Vulnerable to Frost


Heavy rains that delayed sowing in several parts of Eastern Europe may leave a less-developed crop vulnerable to frost amid a forecast for below-normal temperatures in the region.

Colder-than-usual weather conditions are expected in southwestern Russia, Ukraine and countries along the eastern side of the Black Sea until Nov. 25, the European Union’s Monitoring Agricultural Resources unit said Monday. Average daily temperature variations will be mainly between -6 degrees Celsius and -2 degrees Celsius while minimum temperatures of below -10 degrees Celsius are forecast in these areas.

“Abundant rains in large parts of eastern Europe also hampered the sowing of winter cereals, especially in Romania; northern Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovenia and central Croatia are also affected,” the report said. “As sowing activities are still ongoing in these regions, these late-sown stands will be more vulnerable to frost.”

For the seasonal forecast, December, January and February are likely to be warmer than usual in northern Europe and the Mediterranean region, MARS added.

Difficult Start

The winter-grains planting season in the EU saw a difficult start this year. Plantings were delayed in northwestern Europe, central-east Europe and southern Russia due to adverse weather that included dry conditions and excessive rains in September and October, MARS said.

In much of Germany, the Benelux countries and northern and western France, overly dry soil conditions during the normal sowing window in the second half of September and first half of October delayed planting and resulted in the poor emergence of crops.

Frequent rainfall in the second half of October improved soil moisture but delayed farmers until the end of October or beginning of November from finding a suitably dry sowing window. The predominance of below-average temperatures also delayed the emergence and early establishment of crops in these regions.

“Sowing and emergence conditions for small grains were somewhat difficult, but within the normal range, whereas rapeseed sowing activities and emergence were hampered by overly dry conditions in France, Benelux and Germany,” MARS said.

Poland and the Baltic countries also experienced below-normal temperatures that affected crop development, though this was of no serious concern for crops that were sown on time, according to the report.

Not all regions within Europe were adversely impacted.

Conditions in southeastern France, Italy, the U.K., Poland, Denmark, southern Sweden and the Baltic countries were adequate for timely sowing, the report said. On the other hand, parts of the U.K.’s southeast saw extended dry periods, delaying germination and leading to high weed pressure once rain resumed.


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