Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Latest USDA weather update

Volume 101, No. 14, full report available here.

Sharply colder weather settled over the region, while unfavorable dryness persisted in parts of Ukraine.

A strong early-week cold front was followed by temperatures up to 5°C below normal, with nighttime readings dropping as low as -7°C across central and eastern Ukraine as well as portions of Russia’s Southern and North Caucasus Districts.

Winter wheat in the coldest areas was likely in the tillering to early jointing stages of development, and consequently could withstand temperatures as low as -9°C.

However, more advanced winter grains - particularly in Ukraine - may have reached the mid- to late-jointing stages, and therefore be susceptible to freeze damage from readings of -4°C or lower. In addition, Ukraine producers are in need of moisture due to a drier-than-normal winter and early spring, with rainfall during the past week (5 mm or less) doing little to improve winter crop prospects.

Short-term dryness also reduced moisture reserves for small grains in Belarus and Moldova.

In contrast, widespread rain and wet snow (5-25 mm liquid equivalent) maintained adequate soil moisture in Russia.