Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Ukraine Russia Crop Tour findings

At the end of March and beginning of April the Crop Tour team travelled 4,893km across Ukraine and Russia.

The aim was to objectively record the condition and yield potential of overwintered crops as spring growth recommenced.

The route took in the north, western and central regions of Ukraine and central, southern and western regions of western Russia.

We used a rapid crop appraisal technique to make over 500 crop assessments and carried out 60 detailed in field studies to measure key yield indicators. 

In addition the team took photographs and video which was made available during the tour and is now available on line. 

The team held discussions with farmers and industry personnel and collected anecdotal evidence on crop and soil conditions and counselled opinion on the financial and political situation relevant to agri-businesses in Ukraine and Russia.

The tour identified variations across Ukraine and Russia with some regions scoring below satisfactory because of thin crops with small plants and higher than average levels of cold damage.

Other regions visited were satisfactory in good condition and showed no problems post winter.

Wheat had reached early stem extension and farmers had started applying nitrogen fertiliser. 

Ukraine soils had been dry but late snows and rains had provided moisture for early season growth and no farmers expressed concern for soil moisture going in to April.

In Russia late snows and rain had improved soil moisture conditions in central regions but there were still concerns over dry soils further south.

Finance from banks had stopped, credit from suppliers was unavailable, they are requesting payment on delivery. 

Agri-businesses and farmers say they are trying to manage resources by replacing higher cost crops such as corn and soya with lower cost alternatives such as spring cereals, using cheaper domestic seeds and generic chemicals, reducing nitrogen fertiliser rates and dropping out base fertiliser altogether. 

The report and data are now available at £75/€100/$115, email me your preferred currency and I will send you a copy on receipt.