Satellite data shows drop in European crop yields

September 21, 2006

Brussels, 20 Sep 2006

Scientists at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) have used satellite imagery to estimate that European crop yields will be lower in 2006 than in 2005. This is due to the unseasonably hot July, increasing the total area subject to drought. This is the second consecutive year that crop harvests have fallen. This year yields will drop to an estimated total of 9 million tonnes, 3.6 per cent lower than last year. Wheat is down by 4 per cent, winter barley by 2.0 per cent, grain maize by 5.1 per cent, potato by 4.3 per cent, and sugar beet by 3.0 per cent.

Compared to the drought of 2003, the overall area affected is greater, with Germany, the UK, Poland, France and Italy the most severely affected. However, despite the greater area affected by drought, the overall drop in production is less pronounced than in 2003. Crops are expected to be 7 per cent higher than in 2003.

Water shortages did not arrive until later in the year, thereby reducing the impact of the heat wave. The dry conditions led to the depletion of water reservoirs, even in permanent forage areas. This led the European Commission to allow farmers to use areas not normally open for feeding.

For further information, go to

Item source

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Programme Director (GSA Singapore) GLASGOW SCHOOL OF ART

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

  • Boats docked in Port Hercule, Monaco

Richard Murphy praises a bold effort to halt tax-dodging by the 1 per cent

It’s a question with no easy answer, finds James Derounian

  • James Fryer illustration (19 November 2015)

With no time for proper peer review and with grade inflation inevitable, one academic felt compelled to resign

  • Lisa Mckenzie, Class War Party candidate, Chingford

Anarchist academic reflects on what her recent brush with the law says about threats to academic freedom

  • Worker checks thin-film silicon solar module, Truebbach

Asia doubles representation while European countries face varied performance