Harvestable winter oilseed rape areas in Europe vary widely compared to the previous year - France and Romania surprise

CropRadar by Kleffmann Digital RS has measured the harvestable winter oilseed rape areas in all major growing countries in Europe. While the last two WOSR years were characterised by drought and upheaval, resulting in smaller harvest areas, the 2020/2021 season presented a different picture in many countries. After a slow and in some cases late emergence, the oilseed rape stands developed excellently in almost all European countries in the spring. The exception is France. After many French farmers had already drastically reduced their sown areas, a cold snap at the beginning of April caused major damage to the oilseed rape. In the EU28, the ranking for the 2021 harvest year is headed by Ukraine with a harvested area of 1.1 million hectares. Poland, Germany and France follow in second to fourth place.

Ukraine: Ukraine: Despite many forecasts to the contrary, which predicted an area of less than 1 million hectares for Ukraine and thus a significant decline compared to the previous year, CropRadar measured an area of 1,126,178 hectares after the evaluation of the satellite images – combined with a validation process on site by its Ukrainian team.

Corresponding validations, which underline the accuracy of the satellite evaluation, are carried out in all countries for which CropRadar offers results. More than 100,000 areas have been calibrated to verify the algorithms.

Poland: In Poland, oilseed rape area has increased for the second year in a row, reaching almost 1,050 million hectares this year. This is the largest area ever cultivated there. The last emergency approval for seed treated with neonicotinoids probably played an important role in this. Compared to other European oilseed-rape-growing countries, the use of these seed dressings leads to a significantly lower flea beetle infestation.

After a restrained start to the season, the visibly well-established area in January was initially still 800,000 hectares. As cultivation progressed, however, the oilseed rape developed very positively under good weather conditions and more than compensated for the hesitant emergence behaviour.

Germany: The harvestable areas in Germany have increased only marginally compared to the previous season, with oilseed rape harvested areas in the order of just under 980,000 hectares. However, there is a difference in yields, which are higher than in the last two years.

With the new feature CropExplorer, added to the CropRadar portal, the user can visualise the monthly developing biomass of a given crop against temperature and rainfall.

Romania: An unexpectedly large area of oilseed rape is available in Romania this year. Following 350,000 hectares last year, 540,000 hectares of WOSR are ready for harvest in 2021 – an increase of 50%. The uplift in area is particularly apparent in the region of South Muntenia there is a significant increase to almost 200,00 hectares of oilseed rape. Here, many farmers took advantage of their longer sowing window and sowed oilseed rape in October.

This year’s area determinations for oilseed rape are available for the following countries: Ukraine, Poland, Germany, France, Great Britain, Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belarus, Denmark and Hungary.

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