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Southern Russia's Grains Seen Surviving Frozen Conditions

Freezing temperatures in southern Russia, the country’s main wheat-exporting area, didn’t damage winter grain crops, the state weather center said.

Temperatures fell as low as minus 7 degrees Celsius (19.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts of the Stavropol region during the night on March 19, the Federal Hydrometeorological Center said yesterday on its website.

“Temperatures this low were unfavorable for winter crops, but there is not yet any visible damage to plantings from this short-term chill,” the center said. Crops continued to develop as temperatures rose to as high as 9 degrees Celsius the same day, it said. The chill was “dangerous” for fruit trees because they were blooming at the time, a month earlier than normal, it said.

Weather conditions for winter crops will be “mainly satisfactory” across Russia’s grain growing regions in the last 10 days of March, the center said. Russia’s southern regions accounted for about 35 percent of the national grain crop of 70.9 million metric tons in 2012-13, and Stavropol alone harvested 6.8 percent, according to the state statistics data.

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