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Fall Crops Fail to Emerge Across UK
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Fall Crops Fail to Emerge Across UK

November 29, 2003
According to the United Kingdom (UK) meteorological office, 2003 has been one of the driest years on record. The UK escaped the blistering August heat endured by much of the rest of Western Europe, and dry weather actually aided the harvest pace and boosted crop quality. But now, continued dry weather has caused germination problems for major fall-seeded crops, such as rapeseed, barley and wheat. The failure of the winter rapeseed crop may have a negative impact on birds and bees in the UK. Rapeseeds are a major component of the diet of many birds including linnets, turtle doves, and reed buntings. Bumble bees rely on winter rapeseed pollen. The crop’s failure is evident in this Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) image made from data collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) in 16-day increments between September 30 and November 16 in 2003 and 2002. Brown patches across the UK show a decrease in vegetation (of all kinds) between fall 2003


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