Wet weather over central and southern portions of the region contrasted with favourably drier conditions in the north.
An area of high pressure brought sunny skies to much of north-western Russia, accelerating spring grain and summer crop planting following two months of above-normal precipitation.
In contrast, a stalled frontal boundary coupled with an influx of warm, humid air resulted in widespread showers and thunderstorms (15-85 mm) from Moldova, Ukraine, and southern Belarus into central and southern Russia.
The rain maintained good to excellent prospects for reproductive to filling winter wheat, though sowing of corn, sunflowers, and soybeans was slowed or halted by the locally heavy downpours.
Generally dry weather in the north contrasted with additional heavy rainfall in southern portions of the region.
Across northern Kazakhstan and neighbouring portions of central Russia, rainfall was generally light (5 mm or less), promoting a rapid pace of spring wheat planting.
However, eastern and western most portions of the spring wheat belt tallied heavier showers (15-35 mm), slowing fieldwork but maintaining adequate to abundant soil moisture for crop establishment.
For the second consecutive week, freezes (-8 to -2°C) posed little - if any - threat to recently emerged spring wheat.
Farther south, heavy showers and thunderstorms (25-125 mm, locally more) over central and eastern Uzbekistan provided supplemental moisture for irrigated winter wheat, which was in the reproductive to early grain-fill stages of development.