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How are crops developing in Europe?

Как се развиват посевите в Европа?

The cold snap of recent days in France and Germany is likely to cause limited damage to winter crops. After heavy rains in autumn further delayed sowing and caused more concern, now the threat of frost is adding new worries for farmers, analysts said.

"Since mid-December, there has been no significant progress in sowing, which means there will be a big turn to spring cereals such as spring barley, maize and sunflower," said Jacques Delaier of France's Arvalis crop institute.

Winter cereal failures could be more than 500,000 hectares, depending on whether farmers decide to re-sow winter cereals on waterlogged plots where crops are in poor condition.

"Even with ideal weather, it will be difficult for yields to make up, meaning a lower crop should be expected," he said. "The question is whether the excess water will harm the crops," he added.

Germany also experienced a sharp change in weather at the start of the new year, with temperatures falling below those in France, down to minus 7 to 10 degrees Celsius in many parts.

"The snow cover is quite thin in places. After heavy rain and high temperatures at Christmas, there are concerns about the impact of deep frost on cereals in waterlogged fields,” said a German cereal analyst.

Germany's National Statistics Agency expects winter wheat acreage for the 2024 crop to fall by more than 7% from the previous year, largely due to wet field conditions.

In Poland, the protective snow cover was thin and some damage was also possible, said Wojtek Sabaranski of analysts Sparks Polska.

"In most areas of the country, winter crops were exposed to low temperatures and frost. Therefore, frosts cannot be ruled out, especially with late-sown winter canola, but at the moment it is too early to say," Sabaranski said.

In Britain, wet weather is also a serious problem with particularly heavy rain in the south-east and north-west.

"Winter crop conditions continue to suffer from the damp that has plagued the UK since autumn," CRM Agri said in a report this week.

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