Ukraine Crop Conditions

Crop conditions in Ukraine during December and early January have improved, although overall development lags and conditions are worse than in 2009, say the Farm Ministry.

An estimated 90% of the winter grains area was in good to satisfactory condition as at January 14th, they say. Of that, 46.1% of crops are rated in good condition, an improvement on 45.3% last week, but behind last year when more than 60% of the winter crop was rated as good.

Winter wheat was rated in good condition on 46.4% of the planted area, and 43.8% was rated satisfactory, with 9.7% of the crop looking weak and thinned, say the Ministry.

The barley crop was rated 41.8% good, 46.6% satisfactory and 11.6% weak/thinned.

Winter rapeseed plantings were said to be 38.9% good, 40% satisfactory and 21.1% weak/thinned.

Low grain prices and a lack of credit are also expected to lead to reduced inputs this year, which could see yields down in 2010.

Exceptional dryness from August through to mid October, means that wheat entered winter dormancy without gaining maximum hardiness to withstanding sub-zero temperatures with no ill effects, says Gail Martell of Martell Crop Projections.