Sugar beet crop in Russia threatened by heat

Long dry weather in the center and south of Russia may lead to a decrease in sugar harvest in the current season.

The summer of 2021 may go down in history as one of the hottest and driest, although the records of 2010 have not yet been broken.

It is currently hot in many parts of the country and has not seen rain for about a month.

According to the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies, sugar beets, in spite of this, are in more or less good condition at the moment. But there are also reasons for concern.

“Since June, temperatures have been above normal in many regions. First of all, in the Central Black Earth Region, where 2/3 of sugar production in Russia is located, in particular, in Voronezh, Lipetsk, and also neighboring regions. In all the fields, cracks in the soil are as wide as a little finger, ”notes Evgeny Ivanov, IKAR’s leading expert.

What could this lead to?

If there are no heavy rains in the next 2-3 weeks, the leaves of the sugar beet will begin to die off.

Then, after receiving the necessary moisture, it will begin to restore them — at the expense of the resources that are accumulated in the tuber. That is, the yield will fall, and the sugar content in the beets will decrease.

To date, the mass of an average root crop in the fields of the Volga region is 98 grams (the average year is 110 grams).

So, negative trends that may affect the yield are already being observed in a number of regions.

Can you count on a high yield?


According to a number of experts, its likelihood still remains.

Although there were long rains in the spring, and sowing began with a delay, the favorable weather of the following months led to the fact that the sugar beets in the fields almost completely made up for lost time and at the moment their condition is within normal limits.

As for the rains, in central Russia they are expected this week, but in the south, the drought may last at least another 15 days.

At the same time, in the Krasnodar Territory, the beginning of August is already the time for harvesting, so the lack of precipitation there is unlikely to have time to greatly affect the state of crops.

In general, Russia is expected to harvest about 40 million tonnes of sugar beet and produce over 6 million tonnes of sugar from it this season.

This should be enough to saturate the domestic market.

The further development of sugar beet cultivation in Russia may be significantly influenced by the price of sugar.

If it is 40 rubles per kilogram or more, then many enterprises even plan to increase the area under beets next season.

But a drop in prices below the 40-ruble mark may be a reason for manufacturers to abandon this culture altogether.