Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Latest USDA weather update for western FSU

Unseasonable warmth eroded the region’s remaining snowpack and accelerated winter wheat development in southern growing areas.

For the third consecutive week, above-normal temperatures (4-8°C above normal) prevailed, with daytime highs topping 10°C (above 15°C along the Black Sea Coast) in Ukraine and Russia’s winter wheat areas.

As a result, crops continued to develop up to 4 weeks ahead of average in the south, while spring grain planting progressed rapidly farther north.

At week’s end, the region’s snowpack was confined to Russia’s Volga District, more on par with the typical early-April extent.

Moisture reserves remained generally favorable for winter wheat development, though short-term dryness (less than 50 percent-of-normal precipitation over the past 60 days) in central and southern Ukraine reduced topsoil moisture for vegetative winter wheat.

Rain during the period was generally confined to western-most portions of Ukraine (10- 22 mm) and Belarus (5-15 mm), though light showers (2-8 mm) dotted central and eastern Ukraine and western Russia.

However, key winter wheat areas of southwestern Russia (Krasnodar Krai in the Southern District) benefited from 5 to 15 mm of rain at week’s end.