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Federal Research Center 
"Krasnoyarsk Science Center of the Siberian
Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences"

 Федеральный исследовательский центр «Красноярский научный центр Сибирского отделения Российской академии наук»

Federal Research Center 
"Krasnoyarsk Science Center of the Siberian
Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences"

Coronavirus and abnormally warm weather: features of the sowing campaign in 2020

22 May 2020 г.

Коронавирус и аномально теплая погода: особенности посевной компании 2020 года
In 2020 the sowing campaign at the Research Institute of Agriculture of the Krasnoyarsk Science Center is organized under the conditions of two significant factors: restrictions associated with the spread of coronovirus and abnormally warm weather. According to expectations, this year the whole schedule of field work will change. Scientists fear that weather conditions will lead to an increase in the number of pests and diseases of crops, which will require farmers to adjust programs against pests.

Despite the weakening of the quarantine for the agricultural industry, the effects of the lock down can be observed. The fact is that the activities of the agro-industrial complex is closely connected with  industry-specific enterprises.

In addition to the problems associated with coronavirus, unusually hot spring came to Krasnoyarsk after warm winter. The average monthly air temperatures in winter exceeded the mean annual values by 5-8 degrees. In the spring, the threshold of average daily agronomically significant temperatures has shifted to an earlier date.

In accordance with the temperature regime, soil moisture in agricultural lands has changed. It is the air temperature and soil moisture that determine the time of the onset of the so-called agronomic ripeness of soils. A scientifically valid determination of sowing dates is based on taking into account air temperature, soil temperature and soil moisture in the arable layer, as well as on the biological requirements of crops to be sown and characteristics of varieties.

“The weather conditions of each year are peculiar; therefore, the sowing dates for each year are different. In this regard, universal recommendations on calendar dates for sowing  are generally not valid. Agricultural work plans must be adjusted annually taking into account ecological and adaptive-landscape conditions of agrocenosis, ” says Yuri Trubnikov, Doctor of Agricultural Sciences, researcher at the Krasnoyarsk Research Institute of Agriculture.

This year, the period favorable for the development of many varieties of cultivated plants started 20-25 days earlier than the average annual dates. So, the southern areas of the Krasnoyarsk Region started sowing crops in the second ten days of April, i.e. as early as physical conditions had established which corresponded to the biological requirements of crops.

The scientist emphasizes that early sowing will lead to earlier ripening of crops. One can expect a shift in the terms of forage harvesting for livestock. Harvesting of hay, which usually begins in late June, can start at the end of the first or beginning of the second ten days of June. Harvesting of high-moisture forage (silage, haylage) will also shift by 10-15 days. The main harvesting work will be possible in August. For Siberian conditions, this situation can be considered favorable. After all, later harvesting often coincides with adverse weather conditions, namely cold and rain. Such weather complicates and delays the harvesting of crops, leads to crop losses, lower quality seeds and cereal grains.

But warm winter and spring can have negative consequences. Just a few days this winter, air temperature dropped below 25 ° C. This temperature regime allows many pests and diseases to winter successfully, causing significant damage to agricultural crops, as well as fruit and berry crops. As a result, we can expect an outbreak of pest reproduction and the development of crop diseases. Scientists suggest that farmers should adjust pest control programs.