European Vegetable Crops Affected by Hot, Dry Weather

Industrial freezers and canners in the major vegetable producing regions of Europe are concerned about this year’s crops. After a relatively cool spring, the countries in the central production area of the continent experienced exceptionally low rainfall in May and June. While differences were noted between the north and south of Europe, certain regions had 40 to 50% less precipitation than normal.

In addition, the first week of July was extremely hot and dry with high winds, which intensified the dry-out effect. Several locations in Europe recorded their hottest weather ever, with the mercury climbing to over 40°C on July 5 in the German city of Kitzingen. Paris and Geneva both set new records of 39.7°C this month as well.

Indeed, a heat wave was officially declared with record-high temperatures topping 35°C in many locations. These meteorological conditions have affected major vegetable growing areas, and shortages are expected to result for a number of crops, as summed up below by the Brussels-headquartered European Association of Fruit and Vegetable Processing Industries (PROFEL):

  • Peas. The harvest will be reduced by the dry and hot weather. It will be a very short season, with a later than normal start and an early finish.
  • Spring Spinach. After the cool spring, the season was moved up in time, and not all the planned hectares could be sown and processed. Furthermore, extreme drought and heat conditions have negatively affected the crop.
  • Cauliflower. Reduced production is resulting from heat and drought.
  • Beans. Because of the drought, the sowing of beans became extremely difficult and was nearly impossible in certain locales.
  • Root Vegetables (Carrots). The spring crop is late and has lost its potential. Consequently concerns have arisen over the seasonal production of canned mixes of peas and carrots.