Thursday, 22 June 2017

Unfavourable weather reduced Ukraine wheat prospects...possibly

Ukraine’s unfavourable weather and reduced yield prospects for winter wheat continue to be reported widely based on satellite-derived vegetation indices (the normalised difference vegetation index, or NDVI).

Dryness issues based on NDVI images are in the north east of the country while the southern regions, which are normally dry this time of year are looking good, so it should balance itself out.

I haven’t seen one report on drought-stricken wheat in Ukraine that has been accompanied by a photograph suggesting the reports are based solely on remote satellite images, so here is a photograph of wheat taken in north east Ukraine three weeks ago (we will be back there taking more pictures soon).

It’s also worth noting that the USDA wheat forecast based on NDVI readings published this time last year was 24.5mmt, 10% light on the eventual 27mmt crop.

I think Ukraine wheat should, by and large, be OK, the real problem will be felt by corn which will struggle if dryness persists as the shallow, underdeveloped roots struggle to reach moisture.