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Deripaska’s Kuban Says Warm Weather Jeopardizes Krasnodar Crops

Kuban Agricultural Holding, controlled by billionaire Oleg Deripaska’s Basic Element, said “abnormally” warm weather in Russia’s southern Krasnodar region may put winter crops in jeopardy.

Temperatures in the last 10 days of January exceeded the average by as much as 8 degrees Celsius (14.4 degrees Fahrenheit), said the company, which is based in the town of Ust-Labinsk in Krasnodar.

“Abnormally warm weather led to resumption of early germination of winter crops, which can pose risks if frosts return in February and March,” the company said today in an e-mailed statement.

Once every decade on average, Krasnodar sees a weather pattern in which frosts return in February and March after initial cold spells in December or January. That last happened in 2008, the company said. Temperatures of minus 15 degrees Celsius and below would be “critical” for winter crops in February, and minus 5 degrees Celsius in March could also damage plants, according to the company.

The company planted winter wheat on more than 24,000 hectares (59,305 acres) and winter barley on about 4,000 hectares in 2012 for the crop that will be harvested in the 2013-14 season, it said. Krasnodar was Russia’s biggest crop region after it harvested 8.8 million metric tons of grain, or almost 13 percent of the national crop last year, according to state statistics data.

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