Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Latest USDA weather update for western FSU

Mild, mostly dry weather sustained favourable overwintering conditions for wheat and barley, though southern growing areas remained devoid of snow cover despite the arrival of colder air.

High pressure provided sunny skies along with near- to above-normal temperatures (locally up to 5°C above normal) from Belarus and northern Ukraine into northern Russia, with winter wheat remaining dormant under a shallow snow pack (2-10 cm) in Ukraine and more than 25 cm of snow in Russia.

Farther south, early-week rain (1-10 mm) in Russia’s Southern and North Caucasus Districts sustained favourable soil moisture reserves for spring growth, but crops remained devoid of snow cover from central Ukraine into southern Russia.

Despite the arrival of somewhat chillier air (locally more than 3°C below normal) in the Southern District, night-time lows of -15°C or greater did not pose a risk for freeze damage or winter kill.