Market News & Headlines >> EU Crop Agency Slashes Corn Yield

The European Union's crop-monitoring service on Monday slashed its estimate for the bloc’s 2015 corn yield by 7% from June because of hot, dry weather in top producing countries and cut its yield forecasts for all other EU crops as well.

In a monthly report, the Monitoring Agricultural Resources (MARS) unit pegged the average EU corn yield at 6.71 metric tons per hectare (MT/Ha), 16.9% below last year and 4.4% under the five-year average.

"Yield forecasts for all crops at EU-28 level have been lowered compared to last month’s forecast due to suboptimal weather conditions," MARS said in its report. "The forecast for winter cereals remains above the five-year average but the forecast for total cereals dropped just below the five-year average, due to the significant downward revision for grain maize."

In Spain, drought conditions during July in the central and southern regions caused “severe damages to non-irrigated crops during grain formation and grain filling stages,” while in northern Italy “prolonged and intense heatwaves” impacted the crop during flowering, MARS said.

July heatwaves have also affected important crop areas in France, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary. France is facing the most severe situation out of those countries, as the others benefitted from some rain around the end of June, MARS said. The French farm office FranceAgriMer on Friday said the condition of France’s corn crop had declined for a third consecutive week to 62% good/excellent, compared with 67% the previous week.

MARS also cut its estimate for this year's average EU soft wheat yield to 5.80 MT/Ha from 5.85 estimated last month. The average yield is now forecast to be down 5.4% from last year, but still 2.4% above the five-year average.