The main Ukrainian grain crops are spring barley, winter wheat and maize. This monitoring period covers the harvest of maize in October and November, as well as the vegetative growth stages of winter wheat, which is planted in September and October.
The whole country experienced a much dryer and warmer fall-winter period than normal. Amount of rainfall was 34% below average and average temperature reached 4.6 ℃, which was 2.6 ℃ higher as compared to the 15-year average. These conditions were favorable for maize harvest and sowing of winter wheat. The agronomic indicators correspondingly showed that potential biomass significantly increased by 26%, cropped arable land fraction (CALF) increased by 24% and maximum vegetation condition index (VCIx) reached 0.96. Noteworthy is a region with low VCIx concentrated around Cremea and Nykolayiv. The nation wide NDVI profile showed that the crop development surpassed the 5-year maximum starting in late December. In general, good prospects for winter wheat can be expected.
Based on cropping system, climatic zones and topographic conditions, regional analyses are provided below for four agro-ecological zones (AEZ), including the Central wheat area, Northern wheat area, Eastern Carpathian hills, and Southern wheat and maize area. The four AEZs shared generally similar patterns of crop development conditions in this period.
In agroclimatic aspects, all of the four AEZs recorded deficient rainfall ranging from -23% in Eastern Carpathian hills (Lviv, Zakarpattia and Ivano-Frankivsk oblasts) to -35 % in Northern wheat area (Rivne, Zhytomyr and Kiev oblasts), higher temperature ranging from + 2.3 to + 2.8℃ and higher radiation from +7% to +9%, respectively.
Agronomic indicators showed that the potential BIOMSS in the AEZs was up by 9 to 28% compared with the 5-year average; CALF in Central wheat area (Poltava,Cherkasy, Dnipropetrovsk and Kirovohrad Oblasts) and Southern wheat and maize area (Mykolaiv, Kherson and Zaporizhia oblasts) substantially increased by 33% and 73% respectively, with both regions reaching 71%. Maximum VCI in four AEZs were stable at high values above or around 0.9, except for the Cremea (0.8) and Nykolayiv (0.5).
The NDVI development graph indicated that the crop condition in all AEZs experienced a below average situation in October, closed to average in November and then gradually improved to above average starting in December and surpassed the 5 year maximum in January.
Based on agronomic indicators, cropped area as well as the crop conditions, the over-all situation was favorable for winter wheat. However, attention should be paid to the rainfall deficiency which may play an important role for production when wheat starts to develop rapidly in late winter.
Ukraine's crop condition, October 2019 – January 2020
(a) Phenology of major crops
(b) Crop condition development graph based on NDVI
(c) Maximum VCI
(d) Potential biomass departure from 5YA
(e) Rainfall profile
(f) Temperature profile
(g) Crop condition development graph based on NDVI (Central wheat area)
(h) Crop condition development graph based on NDVI (Eastern Carpathian hills)
(i) Crop condition development graph based on NDVI (Northern wheat area)
(j) Crop condition development graph based on NDVI (Southern wheat and maize area)
Ukraine agro-climatic indicators by sub‐national regions, current season's values and departure from 15YA, October 2019 – January 2020
|Region||Current (mm)||Departure from 15YA (%)||Current (°C)||Departure from 15YA (°C)||Current (MJ/m2)||Departure from 15YA (%)|
|Central wheat area||151||-34||4.2||2.8||284||7|
|Eastern Carpathian hills||199||-23||3.9||2.3||318||8|
|Northern wheat area||159||-35||4.2||2.8||246||7|
|Southern wheat and maize area||140||-37||5.2||2.4||338||9|
Ukraine agronomic indicators by sub‐national regions, current season's valuesand departure from 15YA, October 2019 – January 2020
|Region||Current (gDM/m2)||Departure from 15YA (%)||Current||Departure from 5YA (%)||Current|
|Central wheat area||68||27||71||33||1.00|
|Eastern Carpathian hills||64||9||96||0||0.89|
|Northern wheat area||58||28||85||3||0.94|
|Southern wheat and maize area||87||28||71||73||0.99|