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Wednesday, 18 August 2010

EC forecasts average crop production for 2010

Total cereal production in 2010 should be close to the average from the last five years. While the yield per hectare will be 5% above average, overall cultivated areas have decreased. This agricultural year has been marked by unusual scattered weather events ranging from severe rain shortage to floods. However, the impact of poor weather on crops in some areas of the EU has been offset in other areas. This forecast, published today by the European Commission, is based on analysis by the Commission's in-house scientific service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), using an advanced crop yield forecasting system. In general, Europe saw a harsh winter with waves of exceptionally low temperatures in December, January, February and also in March (e.g. snowfall in Spain) leading to a delayed start to the season. Spring and early summer brought a severe shortage of rain in the United Kingdom, western France, Benelux, northern Germany, eastern Poland and Greece. Flooding occurred in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania. On the other hand, Spain and Italy experienced favourable and abundant rain in spring. Northern and central France, Benelux and Germany experienced very high temperatures in June and July coupled with low rainfall. The forecast published today by the European Commission provides yield estimates for the main crops throughout the European Union and identifies the areas most affected by stress conditions. The yield forecast for cereals (wheat, barley, maize, other cereals) is 5.1 tonnes per hectare across the EU, the same level as last year (+0.7%) but above the five-year average (+5.0%). The total area used in the European Union for cereals in 2010 is estimated to have decreased by 3 % compared to 2009.

Source: EUropean Commission