MARS: Climate data: Difficult starting conditions for 2024 for EU crops

March 2024 MARS: predominantly difficult starting conditions for crops. In its March 24 issue, the EU Commission's Agricultural Meteorological Institute (MARS) has reviewed the previous climate data with a focus on February and March 2024 with a view to the effects on the The development potential of the crops was evaluated. In large parts of Western, Northern and Eastern Europe, excessively wet conditions have had a negative impact since autumn. The sowing took place under unfavorable conditions. The emergence and initial development of winter crops was only possible to a limited extent. In the north and east, further damage was caused by sudden severe frost events in December and January. The persistent wetness has made it difficult to access the fields in order to apply fertilizers and pesticides in a timely manner. In several regions, the sowing of winter crops could not be completed. Seedbed preparation and sowing of summer cereals are delayed. This is particularly true in western regions, where the optimal sowing window is about to close or is already partially closed.

Winter crops were grown in eastern Romania and eastern Bulgaria , which particularly suffer from a persistent rainfall deficit . For winter rapeseed, the yield expectations for a restoration of average productivity have fallen significantly. In contrast, central Romania has experienced excessively wet weather ; which has led to suboptimal conditions for plant growth. There is drought in Sicily and in large parts of the Maghreb . The situation is particularly serious in the Western Maghreb, where it is persistently hot and dry. The weather conditions have created a situation where crops are at imminent risk of total failure . In southern European Russia, crop populations were exposed to very low temperatures with shallow snow cover, resulting in a high risk of frost damage.

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