Russian/Ukraine Crop Conditions

UkrAgroConsult say that around 1.45-1.75 million hectares of winter grains in Russia are in poor condition. That represents around 8-10% of the total planted area of just over 18 million hectares. That's around double the previous three year average of 3-5% rated as poor.

In Ukraine around 11-13% of winter grains are rated as in poor condition, with some reports suggesting winterkill losses of as high as 15%. The late arrival of spring may aggravate the adverse effects of the widespread ice crust which remains across large parts of the country, they say. In 2003 5.5 million hectares of winter grains was destroyed under similar conditions, they warn.

Spring planting and field work meanwhile remains severely restricted, with only the Crimea region seeing good progress with seeding activity, according to the Deputy Ag Minister.

One media report suggests that USD3 billion is required to fund spring planting and field work in Ukraine, with around half that needing to come from the government or in the form of bank loans. There won't be too many farmers wanting to borrow money at the 34% interest being quoted to fund that activity.