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Russian Winter-Grain Loss Improves on Warm Weather in South

Russian winter-grain losses may fall to as low as 8 percent because of warm weather in southern regions, said Roman Vilfand, director of the Federal Hydrometeorological Center.

The losses are expected to be 8 percent to 9.5 percent of the sown area, he said by phone in Moscow today. That would be on about 1.2 million hectares (3 million acres) to 1.5 million hectares of land, said Anna Strashnaya, head of the center’s agrometeorological forecasts department.

The losses compare with a December estimate of 9.5 percent. The average estimated winter kill range is about 8.75 percent of the total sown area, Strashnaya said by phone in Moscow.

Winter frosts in parts of the Volga, Central, and Southern federal districts caused the losses, Strashnaya said. The three areas account for 71 percent of the 50.5 million metric tons harvested in the season which started July 1, according to the state statistics data.

“Winter grains’ loss is better than on average in the past five years,” Gennady Yeliseyev, deputy head of the weather center, said by phone. “The situation improved a little bit because of high temperatures of 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) to 17 degrees Celsius in the south, which helped plants develop.” Several southern farms started spring sowing in February because of favorable weather, he said.

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