In the first ten-day period of September, ongoing dry and hot weather (high daily temperatures of air and soil) across most of the Ukrainian oblasts intensified and extended the drought. It resulted in the lowest over the last 10 years soil moisture content observed during the optimal window for winter planting campaign (September 11-25), informed the Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Center.
“As of September 10, the area with dry or near-dry top soil increased up to 60-70%, top soil turned hard that complicated the soil preparation for winter planting. The soil at the depth of 0-10 cm was near-dry across 70-80% of the territory”, - the experts added.
Mass winter planting campaign is counter-productive under such conditions. Moisture content at a meter-deep layer of soil was nearly depleted across almost the entire territory of Ukraine, except western oblasts, where the moisture content was sufficient (25 mm in top soil). The moisture content is the lowest over the last 50 years in some parts of central oblasts.
Sprouting and quality of already planted winter wheat will depend on precipitation.
There will be no significant improvement of the moisture content in the coming week. Some rains will be observed on September 17-18 that will bring some moisture to the top soil only. Thus, the mass planting campaign could be postpone until late September or early October.