Tuesday, 17 March 2015

USDA weather summary for February

Western FSU
Unseasonably warm, mostly wet weather encouraged winter crop greening in southern-most growing areas and maintained overall favourable conditions for dormant winter crops elsewhere.

Temperatures averaged 2 to 5°C above normal, with highs reaching the teens and lowers 20s (degrees C) near the Black Sea Coast.

Consequently, the region’s southern crop districts were devoid of snow cover by mid-month, and snow began to recede in the more northerly winter grain and oilseed areas by the end of February.

Wet conditions (locally more than 200 percent of normal) further boosted soil moisture following autumn drought from central Ukraine into Russia’s Central District, while localized dryness (20-50 percent of normal) in the Southern District reduced moisture reserves for spring growth.

Eastern FSU
Warmer-than-normal weather prevailed during February, with moderate to heavy rain in the south contrasting with below-normal precipitation over the north.

Despite somewhat milder conditions (1-4°C above normal), northern spring wheat areas of Russia and Kazakhstan remained encased in a moderate to deep snowpack; consequently, there was little if any agricultural activity in these northerly growing areas.

Meanwhile, locally heavy rain and mountain snow (25-190 mm liquid equivalent) over southern portions of the region improved soil moisture for winter crops and boosted mountain snowpacks and irrigation reserves for cotton and other summer crops.