The EU Commission’s crop monitoring unit (MARS) recently released a positive outlook for EU-28 cereal yields.

It forecasts that average soft wheat yields would be 5.80 MT/ha, similar to last year and 4.2% above the five-year average.

Barley yields in the EU-28 were estimated at 4.54 MT/ha, slightly below 4.85 MT/ha in 2013, although still 1.2% up on the five-year average. Corn yields were estimated at 7.23 MT/ha versus 6.72 MT/ha in 2013 and 6.6% above the previous five-year norm.

Looking at the units forecast for the UK and Ireland, it estimates the wheat yield at 8.13 MT/ha. This is up on the Commission’s forecast last month which predicted 8.05 MT/ha, 10.1% higher than a year ago and 8.5% above the five-year average.

UK and Irish 2014 barley yields would come in at 5.81 MT/ha, down from the 5.86 MT/ha forecast a month ago, and 0.7% below last year’s 5.85 MT/ha. That’s still 1.2% above the five-year average however.

“The overall EU-28 cereal yield forecast for 2014 is favourable, at the level of last year and above the average of the past five years (by 4.4%). Aside from durum wheat and spring barley, all cereals are significantly above the five-year average and close to the good yield levels of 2013,” MARS said.

In the UK and Ireland, it said: “weather conditions were generally favourable for winter and spring crops. Substantial rain during the first half of July benefited spring crops in particular, but could locally have affected the grain quality of winter cereals.”