Warm Weather Doesn’t Affect Russia’s Winter Grain Crop: Weather Service

Unusually warm weather has not affected Russia’s winter grain crop, Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported on Thursday, citing the acting head of Russian weather forecaster Hydrometcentre.

This winter has been unusually warm and dry in Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter. An increasing lack of moisture in the soil has been seen by analysts as the main risk for crops sown in the autumn of 2019 and due to be harvested this summer.

RIA quoted Hydrometcentre’s acting head Roman Vilfand as saying the development of the crop was “absolutely normal”.

Among sown winter grain, 4% of the crop was classed as in a bad condition, compared with 8% around a year ago, an official at the Hydrometcentre told Reuters in a statement in November.

Vilfand repeated the same numbers, according to Russian media.

The country’s farmers have planted winter grains for the 2020 crop on 104% of the originally planned area, or some 18.2 million hectares compared with 17.6 million hectares a year ago.

In November, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said it revised downwards its forecast for Russia’s grain harvest in 2020, lowering its projection to 74 million tons based on official and unofficial data from the Russian government and industry experts following initial results of the 2019 harvest.