Bloomberg News

Ukraine’s Grains Were 30% Damaged Before Frosts, Center Says

February 13, 2012

Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Damage rates for Ukrainian winter grains reached 30 percent even before temperatures fell in the past few weeks, according to the nation’s weather center.

As much as 30 percent of winter wheat and half of winter rapeseed failed to grow before frosts set in, Tetiana Adamenko, head of the center’s agro-meteorology department, said by phone. She cited results of tests on soil samples taken on Jan. 25 in all of Ukraine’s regions. Winter barley all died in autumn, according to Adamenko.

Temperatures fell as low as minus 35 degrees Celsius (minus 31 degrees Fahrenheit) last month, damaging winter grains in fields with less than 5 centimeters (2 inches) of snow pack. Farmers will need to replant half of the country’s winter grains, or 3.5 million hectares (8.6 million acres) of reseeding, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said last week.

Soil temperatures in some snow-free areas in southern and southeastern Ukraine touched the lowest levels in at least 25 years, Adamenko said today. That means a further 20 percent of winter grain areas will be lost, she said.

Fields in the Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk and Kherson regions will sustain damage from the abnormally low soil temperatures, Adamenko said.

--Editors: Dan Weeks, Claudia Carpenter.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kateryna Choursina in Kiev at kchoursina@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net


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