Soil moisture update by VanderSat – Europe October 2021

October 7, 2021


dequate soil moisture conditions favored summer crops in Central Europe. Yield potentials in South and Southeast Europe are negatively impacted

The overall dry conditions that built up during the summer months in Southern and Southeastern European regions negatively affected summer crops, as well as grassland growth. Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy and Greece were notably hit until the end of September, although the distribution of drier-than-normal days slightly differed depending on the region considered. Conversely, Central European countries (Czechia, Slovakia, Austria) benefited from sufficient moisture, favoring the yield of corn, sugar beet and potatoes(source).

Surplus of moisture created favorable conditions for summer crops in eastern Germany and Poland, especially for grain maize. Nonetheless, the above-average number of rainy days in August prevented fields and crops from drying. This was reflected in the extension of the harvesting period and in the delay of rapeseed sowing in some of those regions (source).


Measured soil moisture excess/deficits map
status 30th of September 2021
VanderSat soil moisture satellite data 20 day backward looking average, deviation from climatology top 10 centimeters.

Western and southwestern Europe had good conditions for summer crops. Positive yield outlook in France and Spain for summer crops

After a wet period in the middle of summer, France experienced dryer moisture conditions that built up in August until the middle of September. This provided good conditions for summer crops, from grain filling to maturity. Consequently, the yield outlook for grain maize, green maize and sunflower is expected to be potentially close to record-level (source). In Spain, the second part of summer observed drier-than-normal conditions first, which were followed by above-average rainfalls. The resulting wetter-than-usual conditions did not impact sunflower harvesting and should benefit grain maize producers.

Soil moisture defined

How much water is in your soil. Soil moisture is a more direct measure of how much water is available for plants and therefore a critical predictor for yield. Rainfall only provides the input of water availability.  It does not account for evaporation, water runoff,  and the additional water stored in the ground.  VanderSat measures soil moisture levels at a unique high resolution of 100 meter by 100 meter globally. Farmers, cooperatives and agricultural firms are using our data on a daily basis to measure, manage and insure their crop growth in every stage of their development.

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Berend de Jong MSc
Director of Insurance &

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