The Weather

31/05/12 -- I received an interesting email in my inbox this morning from my American chum Gail Martell of Martell Crop Projections which caught my eye, some of which I thought I'd share with you, along with a couple of her excellent and original maps. If you want to know more about Gail's excellent online service then pop along to Martell Crop Projections to find out more.

"The weather conditions have changed in European Russia, turning sharply cooler and wetter over the past 5-7 days. A massive ridge of high pressure has moved to the east, and is now affecting Kazakhstan and eastern Russia. This has opened the door for rain showers and cooler air in European Russia crop lands the Volga, Black Earth and Southern District," says Gail.

"Rainfall was badly needed in Southern Russia, particularly, where intense spring drought developed in a 6-8 week period. Maximum temperatures frequently reached the mid and upper 80s F - 15 F above normal.

"See the attached 7-day rainfall map showing heavy, drought-breaking rains in many areas of European Russia. Krasnodar and Stavropol in southern Russia got exceptional heavy rainfall. Welcome heavy rainfall has also reached the Volga. However the Black Earth region known for its exceptional high yields, missed out on the best rain. More rain is needed to fill in the dry pockets."

"Russia's eastern grain belt in the Urals and Siberia now is experiencing unfavourable hot and dry weather. The eastern Russia grain belt in Asia produces far less wheat than European Russia, 30% in Siberia and Urals, against 70% in European Russia where more productive winter wheat is grown," she adds.

"Winter wheat and rapeseed have benefited from heavy rainfall in France and United Kingdom over the past month. Likewise, generous rains have given wheat a needed boost in Southeastern Europe, Romania and Bulgaria."

"However, stubborn drought has persisted in Germany, Europe’s largest rapeseed grower and second biggest wheat country. Crop yields in Germany may turn out very poor, as the dry conditions began more than 3 months ago. It would be hard to recapture a normal yield in rapeseed and wheat , when only 50-60% of of normal rainfall has been received in the recent 90 days. Prolonged drought also has damaged winter wheat in Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic, as shown on the 90-day European rainfall map," she states.