Most of Russia’s Volga area, the southern part of the Urals area and Western Siberia’s southwest were affected by heat and dryness in the past 10 days, potentially harming crops, the national weather center said.
Rainstorms in eastern parts of the Volga Federal District may improve the condition of late spring crops including barley and wheat after the dry weather, Anna Strashnaya, head of agrometeorological forecasts at the Federal Hydrometeorological Center, said by phone from Moscow today. The rains hampered harvesting of other local crops, she said.
The Volga Federal District accounted for 23 percent of Russia’s national grain crop last year, reaping 21.2 million metric tons, according to government statistics. The Siberian and Urals federal districts accounted respectively for 16 percent and 7.8 percent of the harvest, gathering 14.6 million and 7.3 million tons of cereals.
Rains stalled reaping in the Stavropol and North Caucasus republics and the southern Krasnodar region, the main cultivation areas for grain for export, from the end of June until July 12, Strashnaya said. Weather turned favorable starting July 13 and farmers resumed grain harvesting. Rainy weather aided sugar beets, potatoes and sunflowers in those areas, she said.
The regions lie in the Southern and North Caucasus federal districts, which together accounted for 35 percent of last year’s national grain crop with a 32.6 million-ton harvest, the statistics showed.
The Agriculture Ministry expects this year’s grain crop to fall to 80 million to 85 million tons because of a drought in the south and the Volga and Siberian regions. Last year’s harvest amounted to 94.2 million tons.
Wheat for September delivery was unchanged at $9.35 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 5:35 p.m. Moscow time. Prices are up 43 percent this year.
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