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Rapeseed in Eastern Europe Suffers From Dryness, Martell Says

Rapeseed in Eastern Europe suffered from dry conditions that stunted growth before lower temperatures this month pushed plants into premature dormancy, Martell Crop Projections said.

Satellite information shows “sub-par crop growth” for the oilseed in Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and the eastern Czech Republic, Gail Martell, head of the Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin-based forecaster, said in an e-mailed report today.

The affected countries account for about a quarter of European Union rapeseed production, according to Martell. October and November rainfall in Eastern Europe was 30 percent to 50 percent of normal amounts, the forecaster said.

“East Europe winter rapeseed is off to a shaky beginning,” Martell wrote. “Poor fall growth and development is partly due to cold November temperatures that forced rapeseed into premature dormancy. Dry field conditions are also present from scanty fall precipitation.”

Ukrainian rapeseed is suffering from drought, with rainfall less than 40 percent of normal in the 90 days through mid- November, according to the report.

“Poor crop establishment in the fall increases chances for winter kill, if severe cold develops without snow to insulate the crop,” Martell wrote.

The outlook for German, French and U.K. rapeseed crops is better than for Eastern Europe, according to Martell. Still, the U.K. faces dry conditions, receiving half of normal rainfall from September to November, and the local harvest of the oilseed may suffer yield reductions, it said.

Germany experienced an “extremely dry” November with hardly any rain, according to the forecaster.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at

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