June 25, 2019 / 2:07 PM / 3 months ago

Russian heatwave not affecting spring wheat areas too much: state weather forecaster

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Conditions for Russia’s spring wheat harvest are generally good or satisfactory with only a few areas affected by a heatwave that has hit some parts of the country, state weather forecaster Hydrometcentre said on Tuesday.

Russia is starting active harvesting of its 2019 grain crop amid concerns that hot and dry weather could hurt plantings in several regions of the country.

Some analysts have downgraded their 2019 crop estimates due to the heatwave, but Hydrometcentre said overall the situation with plantings was good, with only a few regions facing potential problems.

There is a lack of moisture in soil in some regions of central Russia and in the southern part of the Volga region, especially in the Saratov and Ulyanovsk regions, Anna Strashnaya, a senior researcher at the Hydrometcentre weather forecasting service, told Reuters.

In the southern part of Russia, hot weather may affect the development of wheat in a few parts of Stavropol, Rostov and Volgograd regions, Strashnaya said, adding that the Crimea peninsula could also face the same issues.

Krasnodar, one of the main regions for wheat production and export in Russia, has already harvested its first million tonnes of wheat with an average yield 0.21 tonnes per hectare higher than a year ago, the local department of the agriculture ministry said in a statement. It did not disclose the actual level of the yield.

Reporting by Olga Popova; writing by Polina Devitt; editing by Susan Fenton

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