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Russia and Ukraine

Things seem to be calming down over this latest bit of east-west sabre rattling, and talks continue will hopefully reach some sort of amicable solution soon.

Major military conflicts are not my area of expertise, but we have talked to friends and colleagues on both sides of the border and some army contacts. The consensus is that although the situation is serious, no one can envisage an actual invasion.

Concerning agriculture and the grain trade, we don't anticipate any changes to spring planting hectares or the ability to maintain exports from either country.

I hope I'm right.


Russia restricts fertiliser export

Russia has introduced a temporary ban on the export of ammonium nitrate from February 2 to April 1, 2022. They say the warm winter has brought spring sowing forward by several weeks, which has created an increased demand for nitrogen fertiliser, particularly in the Southern and North-Caucasian Federal Districts.

I'm calling BS on this BS story because fertiliser prices have shot up everywhere, and most Russian farmers will have taken fertiliser delivery or booked it in by now.

I would suggest this is just an extension of the protectionist policy that started last year with export quotas, and I suspect we may see more of this sort of thing this year.


Seasonal fieldwork begins in Russia

Farmers in the Southern and North-Caucasian Federal Districts have started applying fertiliser to winter crops. Russia's winter crop area stands at 19MHA and, according to Roshydromet, about 97% of crops are in good and satisfactory condition, which they report is higher than last year's level.


Ukraine supports farming

Ukraine's Ag Minister said his government continues to support agriculture, focusing on the most important areas, namely irrigation, helping small and medium farms, and stimulating innovative activities.

He says this will ensure stable yields and respond to the challenges of climate change.

Will it, though?


Berlin Ministerial Agricultural Conference

At the recent Berlin Ministerial Conference on Agriculture, attended by 70 ministers of agriculture worldwide, Ukraine's farming minister Roman Leshchenko said: "Agriculture must adapt to new climatic conditions."

Indeed, it must, but I'd like to see him on a Ukrainian farm trying to convince the ageing director and agronomist to ditch the plough and start direct drilling.


Bad weather in Kazakhstan shouldn't be a problem

Unstable weather conditions are forecast in Kazakhstan over the next few days, high winds, heavy snow, and a bone-chilling minus 28C in central and east.

Kazakhstan grows mainly spring crops, so no problem, but there is a bit of winter wheat grown in the south - about 5% of the total crop.


Dagestan crop update

Dagestan reported last year's grain and legume crop was almost 450KMT, 6.5% more than in 2020. Also, farmers have started applying fertiliser on the 94KHA of winter grains, and spring sowing will be 68KHA grain crops, including 26KHA rice and 17KHA of corn.

Although not a significant player on crop markets, we don't hear enough from Dagestan, tucked way down there on the Caspian Sea.


Tomsk farmers of Russia buy fertiliser

Farmers in Tomsk have signed and paid for 22.6KMT of fertilisers, or about 63% of their requirement, twice the amount contracted on the same date last year.

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