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Event Details

Drought event report

Category: Drought
Observation: 12.07.2010
Continent: Asia
Country: Russia
State: MultiAreas
Area: Volga River and in the Ural Mountains
Severity: Hight
Event details
Russia’s worst drought in a decade has damaged more than half of grain planted in eleven regions and hot, dry weather may continue for the rest of this month, a meteorologist said. “We don’t see much room for improvement in July,” said Anna Strashnaya, head of agro-meteorological forecasts at the Federal Hydrometeorological Service. Rains came too late in some areas, while conditions remained unfavorable in the worst-hit regions along the Volga River and in the Ural Mountains, she said in a telephone interview July 9. Soil drought has affected more than half of grain plantings in 11 regions along the Volga, in the Urals and central Russia, and yields in these areas will be at least 30 percent less than last year, the service said on its website late July 9. The Agriculture Ministry reduced its forecast for the total grain crop by 5.6 percent to 85 million metric tons on July 5. Last year’s harvest came to 97 million tons. Fourteen regions along the Volga, in the Urals and central Russia have declared emergencies because of heat and drought. Emergencies may be extended to four more regions soon, the ministry said last week. Drought damaged 9.3 million hectares (22.9 million acres) of crops across the country, it said. “Drought affected most of the areas in the Volga region, where 50 percent to 70 percent of grain plantings, and sometimes more, were damaged,” Strashnaya said. “Productivity will be low, and yields won’t be much higher than in Saratov.” The Saratov region, which accounted for 3.2 percent of Russia’s wheat crop last year, last week reported grain yields at 750 kilograms (1,653 pounds) a hectare, compared with last year’s yields at 1.4 tons a hectare. The grain crop in Tatarstan will come to about 1 million tons this year, down from an average 4.5 million to 5 million tons, the regional Ministry of Agriculture and Food said July 5. Hot and dry weather worsened the crop outlook in parts of central Russia, with half of grain plantings damaged in the Voronezh region, which accounts for 3.2 percent of Russian wheat, and some damage in the Tambov region, Strashnaya said. Yields “may be only marginally better” in Voronezh and parts of Tambov than in Saratov, Strashnaya said. Yields in Voronezh averaged 2.65 tons a hectare last year. Heat will persist in central Russia through tomorrow, with temperatures exceeding the norm by 7 degrees Celsius (45 degrees Fahrenheit) and reaching as high as 36 degrees Celsius, the hydrometeorological service said on its website. The Volgograd region in the south, which accounts for 4.6 percent of the wheat harvest, continues to suffer from dry and hot weather, with temperatures as high as 35 degrees Celsius, Strashnaya said. Yields there will be “very bad, and only marginally better than in Saratov,” she said. “Unfavorable conditions” persist across the Urals despite some decline in temperatures, she said. More than half of the grain crop is damaged in the Chelyabinsk region and as much as 30 percent in the Kurgan region. Rains have delayed harvesting in southern regions including Krasnodar and Stavropol, and may cause some crop losses, Strashnaya said. Siberia is the only region where the weather is “normal,” and the crop there could help to compensate for losses in other areas, she said.
Event map:
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