Frost damage has been relatively limited for European crops this winter, according to the latest EU Commission crop monitoring report. This is despite a cold spell earlier in January, which hit most of Europe and is due to many crops reaching advanced winter hardening stages (winter readiness) just in time.
Earlier this month there was some concern over a lack of snow cover in Ukraine and the potential for winterkill. This latest report, however, says that in most of Ukraine the crops had reached advanced or full frost tolerance.
Going forward, there may be some risk of frost kill in the western half of France, UK and Denmark due to low winter hardening. This is due to the mild air and soil temperatures that have been seen for the most of winter. If temperatures drop further, there could be a risk of frost damage. The likelihood, however, of there being more frost damage between now and the end of the month is quite low, according to the Commission report.
This piece was supplied by Arthur Marshall, Analyst – Cereals, Oilseeds and Potatoes Market Intelligence at the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board