Significant reduction in cultivation area for rapeseed in Germany in 2019

A similar negative trend is also expected for maize acreage this year

As a consequence of the long period of the drought last year, the cultivation area for rapeseed in Germany drops significantly from approximately 1,200,000 hectares in the previous year to 915,000 hectares in 2019. Maize areas are also estimated to be significantly smaller than in previous years.

However, contrary to the reduced area, the last year’s drought had no detectable effect on the quality of rapeseed plants. Information on this is also provided by satellite data that showed a continuous vegetation cover as well as a typical biomass distribution that can be derived from multispectral satellite data.

Figure 1:  Comparison of the quality of the rapeseed plants in May 2018 (left figure) and 2019 (right figure). The images were taken close to the city Göttingen in south Lower Saxony.

Apart from calculating rapeseed area, Kleffmann Group is currently also about to identify maize area in different countries, inter alia, in Germany. It is becoming apparent that East Germany will be particularly hard hit by this year's drought and that major losses in yield are to be feared there. A precise assessment of the final maize area is expected within the next few days.

Figure 2: Exceptional poor maize plant development especially in the eastern regions of Germany. The image were taken on the 2nd of August 2019.


The results are based on the present analysis results of the new satellite-based classification tool launched by Kleffmann Group, named CropRadar. It can recognize every single cultivated cropland independent of its dimension and location.



Andre Hinsenhofe, Junior Project Manager Geo Systems