Snow is falling over much of Russia (pictured earlier today) and Ukraine and temperatures have lifted meaning the threat of further crop damage is receding, at least until the next significant cold spell.
Although the market didn’t react to reports of elevated crop risk in parts of Russia and Ukraine, I believe we will have seen some damage when low temperatures occurred before sufficient snow had fallen.
This is particularly true in regions where crops had been struggling in dry planting conditions such as in south and eastern Ukraine.
What we also learnt is that it is difficult to follow weather events from a distance as the satellite data doesn’t necessarily match up with what we see on the ground.
The amount of damage while significant is probably within normal levels of winter kill which usually fluctuate around 5-15% but the truth is we won’t be able to assess the full impact until the spring.
Furthermore there is still a lot of winter to go so things could be very different come March, indeed forecasters are already predicting colder than average temperatures towards the end of this month.
To this end and following on from last year’s inaugural and successful Ukraine and Russian Crop Tours, we will be running more tours during 2016 with the first event taking place end of March to assess the post winter crop condition.
We will be doing things slightly differently from last season having learnt a lot from our pilot year and will continue to develop and extend the service as funding allows.
More details to follow.