Another threat is frost. Wheat did not hibernate, so a sudden drop in temperature could cause a winter kill of crops not protected by snow cover. According to experts, the optimal average temperature for wheat dormancy is considered to be from 0° to -7° C, depending on the region. Many wheat varieties of Russian selection can withstand significant negative temperatures (up to – 18-20° C), but subject to preliminary hardening and entering the dormant period. That is why, to dispel the fears of agronomists, an unusually European winter should also be followed by a warm spring. A cold spring is much more dangerous than a warm autumn; sometimes in Russia snow can lie in the fields for a long time and slow down the growth of crops.
In addition, warm winters contribute to the proliferation of insects and spread of plant diseases. Winter frosts are natural disinfectant; they also strengthen the protective properties of plants. Wheat crops come out of the warm winter weakened. It means that producers will need to use additional chemical protection against diseases and more fertilizers.
Thus, the weather will play a decisive role in the volume of the wheat production 2020. In the meantime, market operators are monitoring the crops conditions and weather forecasts in the main production regions of Russia and the producers are waiting for the precipitations.
To recall that, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, the winter crops area in Russia for the 2020 crop increased by + 3% to a record 18.2 million hectares. Analysts agree that it is too early to make production estimates and that the first concrete numbers can be announced only in two months, when the Agritel team will go on a traditional crop-tour in the Southern Federal District of Russia. In the meantime, the market can only wait for what nature will decide.