PARIS, FRANCE — A lack of hardiness due to mild conditions has left some EU grain crops exposed to potential frost damage, but the slightly warmer temperatures and increased rain have benefited winter crops across most of the continent, according to MARS, the EU’s crop monitoring service, which released its monthly report on Jan. 24.
Grain crops such as barley and wheat in northern and central-eastern parts of Europe have almost fully hardened by now, but areas around the Black Sea have limited snow cover, and a cold snap could lead to frost damage, especially in late-sown fields, MARS said. However, its simulations suggested that no frost damage has occurred so far in the EU.
The favorable conditions have led to a significant increase in rapeseed sowing area of 12.1% in France and 8.7% in Germany, and has allowed some crops that were lagging behind to partially catch up, the monitor said.
A lack of precipitation extending along the Mediterranean from southern Spain to northern Italy has had no significant negative impact on winter crops so far.
In northern Africa, persisting drought conditions in Morocco had a negative impact on the growth and development of winter crops, and rain is needed to sustain adequate crop growth in western and central Algeria.