Russian Crops Emerge From Winter in Biggest Area in 25 Years

  • SovEcon says plant conditions, yields worse than last year
  • Maintains wheat harvest estimate at second-biggest on record

Russian crops emerged from winter on the biggest area in a quarter century, while their conditions are worse than last year, according to a market consultant in Moscow.

Crops including wheat and barley survived low temperatures on 17.3 million hectares (43 million acres) as the amount of snow that fell was largely enough to insulate plants, consultant SovEcon said in an emailed report on Friday. That’s the largest area since 1992 and 7.5 percent more than last year, government data show.

Russia, the world’s top wheat exporter, gets about two-thirds of its harvest from crops planted from September to December as they produce higher yields than those sowed in spring. Production will also depend on weather in the next three months as it will affect plant development.

SovEcon maintained its estimate for Russia’s wheat harvest at 69 million metric tons this year, saying plants so far have developed slower than last year and yields may be lower. That would still be the nation’s second-biggest crop on record.

Farmers may sow 13.4 million hectares of the spring variety of wheat, SovEcon estimated. Russia’s total wheat acreage, including all varieties, may reach 27.2 million tons, the International Grains Council said last month.

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