Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Happy Christmas Ukraine

Yesterday was Christmas Day in Ukraine, Happy Christmas Ukraine.

According to tradition people tuck in to a 12 course vegetarian supper as the first stars appear in the sky.

Carol singers, Christmas trees and decorations, street entertainers, mulled wine and sausages all make the town center a very festive and fun place to be at the moment the only thing missing is snow.

It's like spring at the moment so much so that I am sitting in the office as I write with the window wide open.

One of the most frequent questions I have about Ukraine is what is the winter like?  Well normally it is cold with lots of snow and ice, blue skies and freezing temperatures and it’s wonderful.  

No such thing as bad weather just the wrong clothes; coats, hats, scarves and gloves and off you go.

But winter will come soon, snow will fall and it will get cold.  

The issue we have is will sufficient snow fall before the temperatures plummet?

That insulating blanket of snow is crucial in protecting winter crops; I have seen temperatures drop to minus 30 degrees Celsius with no adverse effects on oilseed rape and wheat safely tucked up under half a meter of snow.

The other issue is will all this mild weather and late arrival of cold allow for greater development of phoma and light leaf spot?  Theoretically yes which could impact on next seasons oilseed rape yield.

I am watching the weather reports currently coming out of the US and Canada and can’t help thinking we are going to get that as it travels across the pond?  

My feeling is we are going to get a big shock fairly soon and winter will hang around well in to the spring with knock on effect on planting and fertilising.

But that is later, for now there is nothing we can do on the farm so time to chillax hopefully without too much of the chill.