Deal Of The Decade?

02/02/15 -- I got a very interesting email in from my Russia/Ukraine based agronomy chum Mike Lee over the weekend which really caught my eye.

He's planning on organising a 4,000km spring crop tour of the main growing regions of winter crops in both countries. My first thought was "feck, the findings of that will be very interesting indeed",

Surely if anything is going to make this market drag itself out of the bearish doldrums it currently finds itself in then it will be linked to Russian and Ukraine crop conditions in the spring/summer. Remember 2010? And 2012?

My second thought was "feck, sooner him than me".

This morning I read of one Russian analyst describing autumn/winter conditions for 2015 crop production as "abominable", whilst the Ukraine Ministry say that 18% of winter crops there are in a poor state.

Of course, we can't necessarily believe everything that the officials say can we - 18% could mean 8% or 28%, depending on what sort of spin the Ministry fancy putting on things, but we could believe Mike if he was saying it.

Meanwhile we have the ongoing military situation in Eastern Ukraine (more violence at the weekend), both the rouble and hryvnia dropping like stones, and surely some very serious question marks hanging over farmers' ability to fund spring inputs.

Imagine having the opportunity to go over there and see all this for yourself. You don't fancy it do you? Not with tanks running around all over the place, the state of the roads, the shitty food and crappy accommodation, roadblocks, police, army, red tape, paperwork etc. And I don't blame you.

But imagine having some other serf who's over there already doing it all for you, reporting back to you on a daily basis whilst you sleep  comfy and warm in your nice little centrally heated house? Now you're talking.

Mike and his team are looking for sponsors to help fund the trip, with the feedback from it going exclusively to those people. This info won't be all over the internet for any old minge bag (you know who you are!) to go and view for free. Sponsors will get will receive an emailed end of tour report summarising all the information recorded including comments, opinion and observation with photographs and access to videos. There's even talk of the use of drones (which reiterates exactly why I don't want to be in the travelling party when the military come around to enquire exactly what the hell you are doing).

I've signed up already. You can find out more on Mike's blog here: Where do I sign?