Generally, Crop condition was generally above average in most parts of the Western European Major Production Zone (MPZ) during this reporting period, resulting from a combination of positive temperature anomalies and overall significantly above-average precipitation in most areas. The harvest of summer crops was completed, and winter crops were planted and reached over-wintering stages.
The MPZ as a whole recorded above average RAIN (+20%). However, there were differences in precipitation between the countries. Over the entire monitoring period, rainfall in the western MPZ is above average, while rainfall in the eastern MPZ fluctuated around the mean, and the most severe shortfalls were observed in the Czech Republic (-21%), Hungary(-16%) and Germany (-5%). However, frequent and abundant rainfall was observed in France (+39%), Spain (+37%), Italy (+20%) and Denmark (+17%), which benefited summer crops to some extent in those regions. In addition, northern Italy and southwest France experienced two significantly higher precipitations in November and mid-December. RAIN deficit conditions were observed in Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria in late-October, from late-November to early-December and January, where they affected the sowing and emergence of winter crops.
Temperature (TEMP) for the MPZ as a whole was above average (TEMP +0.9°C), but radiation was below average with RADPAR at -5%. During the entire monitoring period, most areas experienced warmer-than-usual conditions, while below-average temperature mostly occurred in (1) United Kingdom, western coastal region of France and Spain in October; (2) Spain, France, Germany, Denmark, the western Czech Republic and Austria, and northern Italy from early-November to mid-November; (3) Eastern part of the Czech Republic and Austria, Southern Slovakia, Hungary, northern and eastern Italy from early-January to mid-January; (4) most parts of the Western European MPZ in the early-December. No severe frost damage occurred during this monitoring period.
Due to low sunshine, the biomass accumulation potential was 7% below the recent 15-year average. The lowest BIOMSS values (-20% and less) occurred in most of Spain, northern Italy, western Germany and northeast Hungary. In contrast, BIOMSS was above average (sometimes exceeding a 10% departure) over eastern Germany, the Czech Republic, west-south Slovakia and Hungary, northern and eastern Italy.
The average maximum VCI for the MPZ reached a value of 0.94 during this reporting period, indicating favorable crop condition in spite of low values in some regions. More than 93% of arable land was cropped, which was 3% above the recent five-year average. Most uncropped arable land was concentrated in Spain, and scattered areas in France, Italy, Hungary and east coast of UK.
Generally, the condition of winter crops in the MPZ was above average. However, more rain will be needed to ensure adequate soil moisture supply when the winter crops resume vegetative growth in spring.
Figure 2.5a. Western Europe MPZ spatial distribution of rainfall profiles (left) and profiles of rainfall departure from average (mm) (right), October 2019-January 2020
Figure 2.5b. Western Europe MPZ spatial distribution of temperature profiles (left) and profiles of temperature departure from average (℃) (right), October 2019-January 2020
Figure 2.5c. Western Europe MPZ maximum VCI, October 2019-January 2020
Figure 2.5d. Western Europe MPZ cropped and uncropped arable land, October 2019-January 2020
Figure 2.5e. Western Europe MPZ biomass accumulation potential departure, October 2019-January 2020
Figure 2.5f. Western Europe MPZ VHI minimum, October 2019-January 2020