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Ukraine’s Winter Grains May Be Damaged by Frosts, Center Says

Ukraine’s winter grain plants may be damaged by freezing temperatures in the east and south during a 10-day period starting tomorrow, according to the national meteorology center.

“It is going to be the longest wave of cold this year,” Tetiana Adamenko, head of the national weather center’s agro-meteorology department, said in a phone interview in Kiev today.

Temperatures may fall to as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius (minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit) and remain there for as many as three to five days in Luhansk, threatening grain plants in certain areas, Adamenko said. Fields in the Kharkiv and Sumy regions in the eastern part of Ukraine may also be affected, she said.

Ukraine planted winter grains, most of which is winter wheat, on 8.4 million hectares (20.8 million acres), or 3.8 percent more than a year ago, according to the state statistics committee. Around 7.1 million hectares of planted areas had sprouts as of Jan. 19, the country’s agriculture ministry said on its website this week.

Flurries in the past week formed a protective snow pack in most of the country, with the exception of eastern and southern parts, Adamenko said.

“Everything will depend on the snow pack, on how low temperatures drop and for how many days,” she said.

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