Winter-grain plantings in Russia’s top-growing areas in the south are improving because of rain and warm weather, according to the national forecaster.
Most of the winter crops in the Southern Federal District are in “good condition,” said Anna Strashnaya, head of the agricultural forecasts department at the Federal Hydrometeorological Center in Moscow. About 5 to 30 percent of the plants are weak and thin, down from as much as 50 percent in the last 10 days of March, she said by phone today.
Crops in some parts of North Osetia-Alania Republic, Stavropol and Rostov are in bad condition and may require re- planting, she said, adding the winter grain death rate in all of the southern regions will be lower than last year.
The weather will be warmer than average and rain will support good soil moisture in Russia’s south through to April 20, Strashnaya said. In the eastern part of the North-Caucasus federal district dry, hot weather may decrease the soil moisture level during that period, she said.
Last year, Russia’s Southern and North-Caucasus federal districts harvested about 35 percent of the country’s grain crop, or about 33 million metric tons, according to state statistics data.
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