Communication report regarding the incidences of drought conditions in Poland

Year: 2019; period: 01 (21.III - 20.V)

The Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation – State Research Institute, in accordance with an Act of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development has developed the climatic water balance values for all 2478 Polish local districts (gminas) and, on the basis of soil categories, calculated the current risk of agricultural drought for the following crops: winter and spring cereals, rape and turnip rape, sugar beet, fruit shrubs and trees, and strawberries.

In the first reporting period, i.e. from March 21st to May 20th 2019, IUNG-PIB stated agricultural drought conditions in Poland.

The average of Climatic Water Balance values, which are the basis for assessing the risk of agricultural drought, was negative and equalled -48 mm. The lowest Climatic Water Balance values (below -120 mm) in the current sixty-day reporting period were recorded for Lubuskie Lake District, the Warta-Odra ice-marginal valley, and in the northern part of Milicz-Głogów Lowering. Similarly low CWB values were recorded in Kutno Plain, in Slovincian Coast and in Damnica Upland. The highest CWB values were recorded in the southern part of the country and in Chełmno-Dobrzyń Lake District, ranging from -50 to more than 50 mm. In the majority of Poland the CWB values ranged from -70 to -100 mm.

Agricultural drought was stated in the following voivodeships:

  • Lubuskie,
  • Pomorskie,
  • Zachodniopomorskie,
  • Wielkopolskie.

Agricultural drought was recorded in the following crops:

  • Spring cereals,
  • Winter cereals,
  • Strawberries.

In the first reporting period, from March 21st to May 20th 2019 the highest risk of agricultural drought occurred for spring cereals. In Poland agricultural drought occurred in 68 local districts (gminas), which constitute 2.75% of all the local districts in Poland, in 4 voivodeships, in the area of 0.64% of arable land. Table 1 presents detailed data on drought occurrence in spring cereals in particular voivodeshpis.

Tab. 1. Agricultural drought in spring cereals

No.VoivodeshipNumber of local districtsNumber of local districts at riskShare of local districts at risk [%]Share of the area at risk [%]
1.lubuskie825162.2017.26
2.pomorskie12397.320.82
3.zachodniopomorskie11332.650.32
4.wielkopolskie22652.210.59

Agricultural drought occurred also in winter cereals. It was recorded in 45 local districts (gminas) in Poland (1.82% of all the local districts in the country), in 4 voivodeships, in the area of 0.3% of arable land. Table 2 presents detailed data on drought occurrence in winter cereals in particular voivodeshpis.

Tab. 2. Agricultural drought in winter cereals

No.VoivodeshipNumber of local districtsNumber of local districts at riskShare of local districts at risk [%]Share of the area at risk [%]
1.lubuskie823846.349.17
2.zachodniopomorskie11332.650.19
3.wielkopolskie22631.330.16
4.pomorskie12310.810.00

Agricultural drought occurred also in strawberries. It was recorded in 24 local districts (gminas) in Poland (0.97% of all local districts in the country), in 3 voivodeships, in the area of 0.13% of arable land. Table 3 presents detailed data on drought occurrence in strawberries in particular voivodeshpis.

Tab. 3. Agricultural drought in strawberries

No.VoivodeshipNumber of local districtsNumber of local districts at riskShare of local districts at risk [%]Share of the area at risk [%]
1.lubuskie822125.614.32
2.zachodniopomorskie11321.770.05
3.wielkopolskie22610.440.00

March was very warm this year in the majority of areas. The highest temperatures were recorded in the south-eastern part of the country, ranging from 6 to 7°C (or even above 7°C in the area of Wrocław). The lowest temperatures occurred in the eastern part of Poland, from 2 to 3°C. In March the air temperature exceeded the multiannual norm (1981-2010) by 2 to more than 3°C.

April was also warm, with temperatures ranging from 7 to more than 11°C. The highest temperatures were recorded in the south-western part of Poland (from 10 to more than 11°C). The further to the north, the lower temperatures occurred (7-9°C). In the whole country temperatures were 1-2°C higher than the multiannual norm.

In the first decade of May the highest temperatures (above 9.5°C) were recorded in Masovian and Silesian Lowlands, Sandomierz Basin and Carpathian Foothills, whilst the lowest temperatures occurred in Pomeranian Lake District (below 8°C). The second decade of the month was the warmest in the eastern regions, with temperatures ranging from 13°C to more than 16°C, and the coldest in the northern and south-western regions, were temperatures ranged from 11 to more than 11.5°C.

In March precipitation varied across the country. Intense precipitation ranging from 60 to 80 mm (140-160% of the norm) was recorded in the north of Poland. In the south precipitation was less intense, from 20 to 30 mm (in the area of Opole and Krosno even less than 20 mm), constituting 60-80% of the multiannual norm.

In April precipitation also varied. Particularly scarce precipitation was recorded in the north of Poland (below 10 mm), where it constituted from below 10 to 40% of the multiannual norm. The further to the south, the more intense rainfalls occurred: exceeding 100 mm, which constituted 100-140% of the norm in these areas.

In May precipitation distribution in Poland varied as well. In the first decade the highest precipitation was recorded in the south-eastern regions (ranging from 20 to more than 50 mm) and the lowest (below 5 mm) was recorded in the eastern part of the country. In other areas precipitation ranged from 5 to 20 mm. In the second decade rainfall was more intense, especially in the east of Poland, where it ranged from 35 to more than 50 mm. Scarce rainfalls were recorded in Południowowielkopolska Lowland, ranging from 5 mm to 25 mm.

Water shortages ranging from -70 to -100 mm occurred in the vast areas of the country. According to current weather conditions, yield reduction by at least 20% in relation to the yield obtained in average weather conditions caused by water shortage occurred in spring and winter cereals and strawberries. In the south of the country water resources are more than sufficient. Excess water on fields may also lead to a significant reduction of yield.

Executive Director

Prof. dr hab. Wiesław Oleszek

Report prepared by:

Dr hab. Andrzej Doroszewski, prof. nadzw.

Dr hab. Rafał Pudełko

Dr Katarzyna Żyłowska

Mgr Piotr Koza

Mgr Elżbieta Wróblewska

Mgr Agata Nowak