MOSCOW, RUSSIA — About 89% of Russia’s winter crops are estimated to be in good or satisfactory condition, said Roshydromet, a federal executive body under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation, on Jan. 21.

Total planted area for winter crops was 16.3 million hectares.

As of Dec. 31, there was no snow in Voronezh, Belgorod, Lipetsk, Kursk, Orel, Smolensk and parts of Tambov, Kaluga and Moscow regions. The low temperature was slightly below average.
In the Southern, North-Caucasian and Crimean Federal Districts over the past period the conditions for overwintering was satisfactory.

In most agricultural regions of the Urals Federal District and Western Siberia, winter grain crops throughout the month were under snow. Overwintering was mostly satisfactory in those areas. 

In southern Russia, due to drought from July to October 2015, winter crops were mostly in either good or bad condition (Voronezh, Rostov, Volgograd and Belgorod region). Due to the desiccation of the upper soil, the seed of the winter crops did not germinate or produce any crop. The shoots of winter crops were extremely uneven.

In the Voronezh region, 630,000 hectares was planted but only 26.9%, or 169,300 hectares, were in good and satisfactory condition.

According to Roshydromet, in December in the European part of Russia there was abnormally warm weather so that the snow cover in many areas has been unstable. Thus, only in the northeastern line of St. Petersburg, Kostroma, Nizhny Novgorod, Penza, Saratov for the entire month winter grain crops were under snow. Frost was observed in these areas at the end of the second and third week of the month but were not dangerous to plants.

In the Central Federal District, snow fell and melted repeatedly. The top layer of the soil froze and thawed, which created bad conditions for winter crops and decreased their hardiness. The most significant cooling in these areas was observed at the end of the month, but it was accompanied by a gradual and slight snowfall that was favorable for overwintering plants.