Monday, 6 February 2017

Cold elevates Black Sea crop risk

Temperatures are dropping in Russia and Ukraine this evening with a few cold nights forecast through the rest of this week.

Central Ukraine is predicted to go as low as -11C (12F) tonight with -20C (-4F) tomorrow and for the next few nights.

It’s a similar story over in central Russia around Kursk, Voronezh and Lipetsk where it is all registering -24C (-11F) tonight with a possible -26C (-15F) for tomorrow.

Most of these regions have sufficient snow cover at the moment and our November crop assessments showed crops to be in good condition going into the winter, but there are a few potential sites where snow has melted leaving crops exposed and at risk of cold damage.

In Ukraine the last clear satellite images showed Odessa, Mykolaiv and Kherson to be at risk although temperatures are only predicted to go as low as -6C (21F) tonight but could be as low as -14C to -16C (7F to 3F) as we move through the week.

In Russia snow seems thin on the ground around Rostov and further south in Krasnodar, both important winter wheat growing regions.

Rostov is looking at -10C (14F) tonight with lows of -18C (0F) in the week while Krasnodar could see -11C (12F) by Thursday.

Under current conditions I don’t see these temperatures having a major impact in terms of winterkill which typically ranges around 5-10%, but that assumes temperatures don’t go much lower and start to lift before the week is out, however it will be reducing crop vigour.

The effect will translate in to a lower yield potential but we won’t be able to fully assess the implications until we run the first Crop Tour of the season.

The first Black Sea Crop Tour of 2017 will take place in March to assess the post winter condition of the wheat crop, subscription details will be posted soon.