Soil moisture update by VanderSat – Europe September 2021

September 8, 2021


ormal to wet soil moisture conditions in most parts of Western and North Central Europe .


  • Western Europe was marked by severe rain in mid-July, which caused disastrous flooding, especially  in Germany and Belgium. In August, the soil moisture conditions in most parts of western and north-central Europe were ‘normal to wet’. This has led to an improved yield outlook for summer crops in these countries. In Germany, Belgium and Netherlands, the harvest of winter crops has been hampered due to frequent rains, leading to a slight reduction in the yield forecast for winter cereals (source).
  • In Spain the soil moisture conditions were relatively dry, but have not impacted the harvest in a major way. In Central Italy the soil moisture deficit remained relatively high, impacting the yield for sunflowers and soybeans (source).
  • The cumulative rain forecast shows 10 to 40 millimeters of rain is expected in the next 10 days for the Western part of Europe, including Spain, France, Germany and Italy(source).

Measured soil moisture excess/deficits map
status 31st of August 2021
VanderSat soil moisture satellite data 20 day backward looking average, deviation from climatology top 10 centimeters. Please note the soil moisture map of Europe above indicates some areas in Greece as ‘blue’: this is the result of specific high rainfall events that remain visible when showing the 20-day backward moving average.

Eastern Europe – drought impacting yields for summer crops in Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Greece

Our previous report pointed out drought hazards in countries within or around the Balkan Peninsula (Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Greece). In Greece this has led to many wildfires. In all these countries yield forecasts for summer crops are corrected downward as a result of this drought stress1. No major rainfall is expected for the next 10 days in eastern Europe with the exception of Greece where less than 10 millimeters (source).

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.

Do you require high resolution satellite data for the areas you are interested in?

Contact me via email or call me +316 10 812 712.

Berend de Jong MSc
Director of Insurance &

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