A prolonged heatwave in northern Europe created havoc in the summer of 2018. Sweden was blazing with uncharacteristic wildfires; swaths of the United Kingdom turned brown; and Germany endured a summer-long drought. Now, experts say the prolonged hot and dry conditions affected this year’s European wheat production, influencing global wheat prices.
“This is a pretty bad year for crop conditions as far as Europe is concerned,” said Brian Barker, a geospatial scientist at University of Maryland. “In Germany, the Czech Republic, Norway, and Lithuania, crop yields have significantly dropped and are in poor condition— and prices do not respond well to drought.”
But exactly how much will the price change?
Barker is one of several researchers from the Group on Earth Observations Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative, working to bring satellite data to the economics community in order to better anticipate crop prices. At the end of every month, Barker gathers information from close to 35 different partners and 150 to 200 different sources to assess crop conditions in 28 countries that are the world’s leading producers, consumers, and exporters of wheat, maize (corn), rice, and soybeans. The results and analysis are published on the GEOGLAM Crop Monitor, one of