Saturday, 17 September 2011

Aren't sunflowers brilliant?

Early harvest results coming in for sunflowers and they are good.

My contacts from around the regions are reporting first fields cut at 2.5MT/HA off the combine so probably nearer 2.0MT/HA when dried, cleaned and Yuri has expropriated his share. 

Still possible to make money at that. 

Price is currently 4,000UAH/MT (360EUR/MT) with direct growing costs of around 1,800UAH/HA (160EUR/HA) means a gross margin of 6,200UAH/HA (560EUR/HA).

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Caught by the fuzz!

Do you remember the Thames Valley coppers sledging down a hill on their riot shields last year?  They got a bit of a rollicking for that I seem to remember.
Well here's a couple of Kiev's finest spotted earlier this week making an absolute meal of trying to knock apples out of a tree while on duty and carrying side arms. 

Watch out for the fat one looking around suspiciously as he trousers an apple.


Another poll from the ministry of "Stating the bleedin' obvious"

OK so not a ministry but a toothless quango has just produced results from a poll that suggest over half of Ukrainians distrusts authority.

The majority said they are not satisfied with the political situation (70%), the economic situation (87%), or the foreign policy (46%).

Among the country's most serious problems, those polled named the police (100%), inflation (74%), poverty (54%), unemployment (53%), corruption (49%), general economic problems (32%), political instability (20%) and external debt (11%).

Corruption only 49% eh?  Something fishy going on there.

ps I made the police one up.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Maize harvest

Maize yields bounce about with a 40% difference in yields for the larger agri-businesses last year.

There are a lot of predictions about for a bumper harvest this year and some companies will be counting on it. 

I am a little more reserved.

Planting time was very dry and crops struggled to get established with many plants emerging late and having a pretty hard time of it. 

Rain in June allowed crops to put on a massive growth spurt and they shot for the sky producing a lot of biomass and very impressive looking crops. 

On closer inspection a lot of these impressive 3m tall crops have produced one cob with a low numbers of small grains.

Time will tell but I wouldn't bet my house on it just yet.

Sunflower harvest

Has started in the south and east and is imminent elsewhere.

Sunflower is a fairly robust crop and I expect yields to be consistent once results start coming in.

Last year there was only a 5% yield difference amongst the larger agri-businesses.

As you would expect at the start of harvest prices dipped to a low of 3,500UAH/MT but lifted slightly this week to 4,000UAH/MT.

Winter oilseed rape plantings

WOSR should be in the ground by now, any later and plants struggle to develop sufficiently large enough to cope with the winter.

Rather worryingly for the Ministry of Agriculture, they claim only 77% of "the target" has been planted. 

Less worryingly for everyone else, the Ministry target of 950,000ha planted is a work of fiction and most sensible growers will have completed plantings by now.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

We've got the builders in!

No, not a euphemism, we really do have the builders in. 

We have just moved from a hugely congested and ever so slightly radioactive Kiev to a much fresher and all round brand new apartment in Lviv. 

First night woke up to a massive flood in the kitchen; second night Noah from down stairs was at the door bleating on about a flood.

Today the builders have arrived and are currently dismantling the bidet (I thought it was a drinking fountain!) and destroying the newly minted bathroom searching for the source of the flood.

My mate Richard from the US, with some considerable experience of this part of the world once said to me that "seemingly Ukrainians can't even put two pipes together without them leaking." 

Prophetic words indeed Richard.