Thursday, 22 February 2018

Cold weather elevates risk to Black Sea wheat

Russia’s Minister from Nizhny Novgorod region reports the condition of winter crops do not give him any cause for concern and they are good and satisfactory.

Over in Ukraine and the Ministry of Agriculture report 87% of winter crops in good or satisfactory condition and give a cautious prediction that winter dormancy was without significant losses.

The French Agricultural office reported that 84% of winter wheat was in good or excellent condition compared to 95% in early December and 92% last year.

This might all be about to change next week as very low temperatures are forecast for Europe and the Black Sea. 

Parts of Black Sea farmland currently has little or no snow and plants had broken dormancy earlier this month so it’s safe to assume some crops will now be at elevated risk of damage from the cold.

I don’t think we will see wholesale crop death, but I do believe it will put a dent in yield prospects which had been running high after a good planting season and easy winter up to this point.

Our first crop tour of the 2018 season kicks off 19th March, so we will be well placed to assess the condition of Black Sea wheat, see if there is any cold damage and what the implications might be (sign up to the crop tour service to receive copies of our findings).

Ukraine farmers in the south of the country had started applying fertilizer to over wintered crops, which is about 2-3 weeks early than usual but then stopped due to wet weather.

We have no reports or sightings of farmers applying fertiliser in southern Russia, recent rain there made land unfit to travel but crops are actively growing in Krasnodar and Stavropol so given a dry spell (which is forecast) we anticipate any time in the next week which will be about a week earlier than last year.