Tuesday, 18 April 2017

USDA March weather summary for Europe and FSU

Near- to above-normal temperatures and precipitation during March sustained good to excellent prospects for winter crops.

The warmth (2-5°C above normal) accelerated winter crops out of dormancy several weeks ahead of normal across northeastern Europe and maintained faster-than-normal development elsewhere.

Widespread showers improved soil moisture for wheat and rapeseed from France and southern Germany into the Balkans following a drier-than-normal winter.

In Spain, dry weather in the north (25-50 percent of normal) contrasted with beneficial rain in the south (locally more than 200 percent of normal), resulting in mixed yield prospects for winter wheat and barley.

Western FSU
During march, conditions were favorable for winter wheat in Russia, while short-term drought developed in central Ukraine.

Mild, wet March weather eased crops out of dormancy in central Russia and promoted earlier-than-normal wheat development in southern portions of the country.

In contrast, pronounced dryness (10-25 percent of normal) further reduced soil moisture for vegetative winter wheat in central and southern Ukraine.

However, the dry weather allowed sowing of spring grains and summer crops to get off to an early start.

Meanwhile, locally more than twice the normal monthly rainfall in western Ukraine and Belarus boosted moisture reserves for spring grains and summer crops.

Eastern FSU
During March, seasonably cold, snowy conditions prevailed in the north while rain and snow boosted moisture supplies for dormant winter wheat in the south.

Central Russia and neighboring portions of northern Kazakhstan remained covered by a deep snowpack for much of the month as seasonal cold (readings occasionally below -20°C) prevailed over the region.

Farther south, rain and snow (100-200 percent of normal) maintained adequate to abundant moisture reserves for dormant to early vegetative winter wheat in Uzbekistan.