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Reuters – Russia’s winter grain sowings are in a worse condition than a year ago, but snow and rains may help in December, the head of the weather forecaster Hydrometcentre said Nov. 30.

Russia, one of the world’s largest wheat exporters, harvested a record grain crop this year mostly due to favourable weather in spring and early summer.

Among winter grain sowings, which farmers sowed for next year’s crop, five per cent are in a bad condition compared with three per cent around the same date a year ago, Roman Vilfand, head of Hydrometcentre, told reporters in Moscow.

He blamed a lack of moisture in the soil in some regions after scarce precipitation this autumn.

“The situation (with moisture in the soil) is noticeably worse than a year ago but it can still improve if there is good precipitation, snow,” Vilfand said.

Russian farmers have sown winter grains for next year’s crop on 98 per cent of the planned area, or on 17.1 million hectares, compared with 17.3 million hectares a year ago.

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