Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Now how do they do that?

The Ministry of Agriculture is reporting that 94% of winter crops are in good or satisfactory condition.

These buoyant dispatches are a regular feature in Ukraine and are widely reported but have you ever stopped and thought how can they determine the condition of crops under snow and with such apparent accuracy?

I have no idea but I do know that in the old times agronomists would dig up a slab of frozen ground, bring it indoors, melt the snow off and look at the plants underneath. I'm not sure you can tell anything meaningful from this exercise but it did give the guys something to do during the long cold winter.

Personally I wouldn't take any notice of such data; at best it's subjective but more than likely it's just plain made up.