In the EU agricultural land for rapeseed in the EU has decreased to a marked degree in the last few years. Among other factors, the adverse weather conditions and increasing pest pressure have resulted in a significant reduction in agricultural land. The record for the smallest area sown until now was achieved in Germany in 2018; in that year only 850,000 ha were sown. In France only 950,000 ha have been sown for this year’s harvest. In 2020 1.1 million ha were sown. Conversely, in Poland the agricultural land for rapeseed cultivation has remained relatively stable in the last three years, at just under 900,000 ha. The lowest level was reached in the EU for the 2019 harvest, when the area was a scant 5 million t. The area of rapeseed for the 2021 harvest is 5.2 million ha (excluding the United Kingdom, currently with 330,000 ha).
Differing climatic conditions for the growth of rapeseed prevail in Europe; in addition to the regional weather conditions, climate affects the blossom season. The weather in France is influenced predominantly by a maritime climate. In Germany the maritime climate is marked by continental influences. In Poland the prevailing climate is predominantly continental. The harvest season also moves accordingly, i.e. as a rule France is the first to begin threshing. In order to assess the development of the crops, it is possible to, among other things, analyse satellite images and in this way determine the correct period.
This year the field crops in Europe have come through the winter with varied success. In April France was hit by severe frosts; loss of revenue is to be expected. Current estimates start from a crop yield of 2.9 million t (previous year 3.3 million t). As in the previous year, a yield of approximately 3.5 million t is anticipated for Germany. Here, the crops are predominantly in good condition. However, by virtue of the cool months of April and May the overall development of the plants is lagging behind by about two to three weeks. The forecasts also anticipate a harvest like that of the previous year for Poland, at approximately 2.7 million tons. In order to undertake an accurate analysis of the influence of the weather, historic weather data from the respective locations are an advantage.