Near to above normal temperatures and precipitation maintained good conditions for dormant winter grains over much of the region.
From eastern Ukraine into central Russia, 50 to 70mm of precipitation (much of which fell as snow) improved soil moisture reserves in areas impacted by autumn drought.
In addition, crops were protected from bitter cold (-20°C or lower) at the end of December by a moderate to deep snowpack, reducing the risk for winterkill.
However, snow cover was shallow and patchy in north-central Ukraine, leaving crops exposed to the elements.
In addition, many of the wheat areas of central and northern Ukraine remained unfavourably dry, exacerbating soil moisture losses brought on by a drier than normal fall.