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Brussels, 14 July 2006

Crop yield forecasts for 2006 and analysis of drought effects

This Memorandum provides additional information, maps and graphs related to the IP/06/994 on the forecast of cereal production and impacts of drought.

During the agricultural season, the Commission’s Directorate General Joint Research Centre (DG JRC) regularly issues forecasts for the main crop yields and produces analyses of the impact of weather conditions on crop production. These are based on advanced methodologies using satellite remote sensing and mathematical models which simulate crop growth.

The models and methodology in use have been conceived, experimentally developed and operationally implemented within DG JRC.

The crop yield forecasts, analyses and full description of the methodology are available at:

Table 1: Crop yield estimates for the main crops for EU25

[Graphic in PDF & Word format]

Table 2: Water balance deficits for the main regions affected by drought and comparison with the last 30 years.

Areas most affected by the 2006 drought

- Rainfall and Climatic Water Balance (CWB) deficit on arable land -

[Graphic in PDF & Word format]

Analysis of crop yield by crop type and country for the EU25

Total Wheat (soft and durum varieties): despite the areas affected by drought this year the EU25 yield is expected to be higher than average by 5.0%. This amount is also an increase of 2.7% when compared with last year’s average result.

The resulting EU wheat production could be increased by about 2 million tonnes compared with 2005. However, some regions will still have below average production as a consequence of the effects of this year’s late spring drought, i.e. Spain, southern France (where durum wheat will be especially affected), Italy (especially Sardinia, Sicily and north-western regions) and some areas in Portugal.

Table 3: Crop yield estimates for total wheat for EU25 and national level

[Graphic in PDF & Word format]

Total Barley (including winter and spring varieties): the yield is expected to be reduced by 1.3% compared to the average. The final production at EU level will be lower than average by 1.5% (about one Mt below average). The spring varieties were the most affected by adverse climatic conditions, including a late season due to late sowings and cooler temperatures in central countries, and drought affecting Spanish areas.

Table 4: Crop yield estimates for total barley for EU25 and national level

[Graphic in PDF & Word format]

Grain Maize: at the moment the yield decrease is only about 2.0% at EU level as compared to last year. which, combined with area decreases, will result in production being lowered by at least three Mt. However, the impact of low water reserves in some of the main productive basins of the EU (south-west France and northern Italy) could cause drastic reductions if there is not enough rainfall in the next weeks. In these areas the situation appears in some cases worse than in 2005.

Table 5: Crop yield estimates for Grain Maize for EU25 and national level

[Graphic in PDF & Word format]

Rice: rice areas are also possibly affected. In Italy (the late flooded varieties are especially threatened) in the north-western regions and Sardinia, and in southern France.

Other crops: other crops, especially permanent crops like orchards, are affected or potentially affected by the scarcity of rain and water reserves in southern France, large areas in Spain and northern Italy.

Pastures: according to satellite observations, the lack of moisture coupled with high temperatures, affected pastures and grasslands in the south-western portions of the continent similarly, but to a lesser extent than in 2005. The most affected areas are concentrated in Spain and Portugal (about 290,000 ha)

See also IP/06/994

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