As a Russian native, I know that the worst period to travel to my country is November: dull weather, no sun, bare trees. At the same time, it’s a very good time to see crop conditions before winter, that’s why we chose this month for our Russian tour. Four days, three regions in the South-West of Russia, two weather seasons (cold snowy winter further to the continent and autumn fogs closer to the sea) and 1200 km could sum up our whole trip.

First day: home of Kuban Cossacks

We started our crop tour in Krasnodarskiy, the capital of the Krasnodarsky kray, the third most-populous federal subject. The other, historical, name of the region is Kuban, which immediately makes us remember the Kuban Cossacks, the Azov Sea but also ports and seaside resorts. It’s also one of the main wheat production areas with a direct access to the sea. Therefore, the Russian production potential highly depends on the results of the local agribusiness, as well as on the production volumes of the Stavropol and the Rostov regions.

Second day: snowy Stavropol

Stavropolsky kray was the second point of our road map. Using our special crop data-gathering methods we visited the same wheat fields in Russia for the second consecutive year in order to have first-hand information from operators and farmers. Stavropolsky kray is one of the most multi-ethnic federal subjects in Russia; Gorbachev and Solzhenitsyn were born in the region. Irrigated agriculture is well developed in the region with more than 3 000 km of irrigation canals. As you can guess, drought and dry winds are one of the cross weather factors for these regions. Agricultural cycles highly depend of the change in seasons and of the height and duration of the snow cover. Interviewing farmers, we heard more than once the term “risk farming area”. Indeed, the temperature difference between winter (to -30°C) and summer (up to 30°C) but also between night and daytime (range of 20 points) does not make life easier for farmers.

A member of European Agritel Tour on a snowy field.

Third day: the port of five seas

On the third day of the trip, after the morning fog in Stavropol, Rostov-on-Don welcomed us with sunny weather. Rostov-on-Don, the capital of Rostov oblast and the Southern Federal District, is a big harbour city with a population of more than one million people and was a host city to matches of the FIFA World Cup 2018. This town is located on the banks of the large Don River, 32 kilometers from the Azov Sea and lies in a humid continental climate. We could see it for ourselves; all visited fields were covered with snow. Rostov-on-Don is a nice city to visit or to make business because of its favorable geographical position contributing to the economic development. In 1952, the soviet government made a strategical decision to dig the Volga-Don Shipping Canal which transformed Rostov-on-Don  the port of five seas: Black, Azov, Caspian, White and Baltic.

Forth day: YugAgro exhibition

The last day, back to Krasnodar, we visited YugAgro, the International exhibition of agricultural machinery, equipment and material for crop production. Seeing a large number of operators, brands and farmers, it is now sure that the resurgent market in Russia is no longer emerging and recovering and hides a lot of potential.

If you want more information about the results from fields of our Russian tour and Russian crop development, areas and production potential, get our detailed European Agritel Tour reports.

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