Thursday, 15 May 2014

Latest USDA weather update

Volume 101, No. 19, full report available here.

Unsettled albeit cooler conditions continued over much of the region, though warm weather lingered in southern- and eastern-most crop districts.

A stationary frontal boundary draped across the region separated chilly conditions (up to 3°C below normal) over northern and western growing areas from above-normal temperatures in southern and eastern wheat districts.

While the cold conditions over Belarus, northern Ukraine, and Russia’s Southern District slowed winter crop development, nighttime lows (-3 to 0°C) were above the threshold for crop damage.

A storm system tracked northward along the front, producing widespread showers (5-35 mm) across most major growing areas.

The rainfall was beneficial for vegetative winter crops — particularly in central and eastern Ukraine — but continued to temper the previously rapid planting pace of spring wheat and summer crops.

South and east of the front, above-normal temperatures (up to 3°C above normal) accelerated winter and spring grain development in southern Russia as well as southeastern portions of the Volga District.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Fishing games

Today and tomorrow are holidays in Ukraine and probably Monday too if I looked it up.

As a consequence my neighbours have invited me to go drinking fishing and I am tempted even with a 4am start.

Which reminds me of the story I was told by an agronomist pal when, back in the day he was invited to go drinking fishing with his pal who just happened to work for the secret service.

When the fishing wasn't up to much and the vodka was starting to take effect his KGB mate opened his bag to reveal a hand grenade, presumably standard issue at the time.

As we all know great ideas are often borne under the influence and this was one of those days, "let's lob the grenade into the river then we could just scoop up the fish when they all float to the surface?"

What could possibly go wrong?

Hand grenade lobbed, big explosion, then the river bank they were standing on started to give way and slide in to the water taking them, their fishing kit and their Lada in to the water.

How they laughed...I guess.