Ukraine: Abrupt Temperature Change May Have Harmed Winter Wheat

A dramatic and abrupt fall in temperature, combined with a lack of early season moisture, may have harmed winter wheat crops in Ukraine, says Gail Martell of Martell Crop Projections.

The transition from active growth to dormancy was abrupt, as temperatures fell an astonishing 75 degrees F between December 1 and December 14, says Gail.

Wheat was not well established in the fall because of extremely low field moisture. Weather data and satellite imagery indicated that both surface and subsurface moisture during August and September were the lowest in recent years, according to Foreign Agriculture specialist Mark Lindeman.

Rain showers finally arrived in October. However, wheat growth was still sub-standard on a late November satellite image of crop vegetation. Late arriving rainfall may have reduced development time, causing sparse vegetation and lower yield potential, Gail concludes.