Russian Farmers to Keep Planting Winter Grains Amid Warm Spell

Russian farmers will keep planting winter grains this month amid abnormally warm weather, helping bridge a gap with this year’s target after sowing was delayed by rains, according to the country’s Grain Union and Moscow-based consultancy OOO ProZerno.

Farmers planted 14.3 million hectares (35.3 million acres) with winter grains as of yesterday, 8.3 percent less than last year and 13 percent short of the target, Agriculture Ministry data show. Areas under winter grains may reach 15 million hectares, the Grain Union estimates, while ProZerno says plantings will be 14.5 million hectares.

“Farmers can still plant a bit more, especially in the south,” Alexander Korbut, the Grain Union’s vice president, said in a telephone interview yesterday. “They still have time and they have the weather.”

Winter-grain planting was delayed by at least two weeks this year because of rains, the Grain Union estimates. The delay and smaller areas under wheat may cost Russia 4 million metric tons of potential harvest, the Moscow-based Institute for Agricultural Market Studies said last month.

A mild, warm October helped to improve the outlook for winter grains, and losses because of the smaller planted areas may be 1 million to 2 million tons under the “worst-case scenario,” Vladimir Petrichenko, ProZerno’s director general, said in a telephone interview. A favorable winter may mean a higher survival rate and a crop similar to 2011, when Russia harvested 94 million tons of grain, including 56 million tons of wheat, he said.

Weather in central Russia will stay “abnormally” warm next week, Russia’s national forecaster said yesterday. Temperatures rose to as high as 18 degrees Celsius (64.4 degrees Fahrenheit) yesterday, beating records at “almost all” observation stations in central Russia, it said on its website today.

Krasnodar Temperatures

Temperatures in the southern region of Krasnodar, the main grain-growing area, will rise to as high as 22 degrees Celsius today, before sliding to 14 degrees to 16 degrees through Nov. 13, data from the weather center show. The daytime average for November will be 11.3 degrees, the data show. Temperatures in Rostov, the second-biggest grain grower, will reach 16 degrees today, the data show.

Krasnodar exceeded its target for winter grains by 3.2 percent and Rostov planted 97 percent of the target, Agriculture Ministry data show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maria Kolesnikova in London at mkolesnikova@bloomberg.net

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

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