Black Sea Crop Tour 2017

The aim of Black Sea Crop Tours is to achieve a clear and independent assessment of crop condition and yield potential of selected crops at key stages during the season.

To achieve this we will conduct a series of Crop Tours across Russia and Ukraine through the 2017 growing season.
Scope
We have identified five key crop stages that we believe provided useful indicators of yield potential.
1.     Post winter crop condition (April)
We will assess the post-winter condition of wheat and make a yield forecast.
2.     Post-planting spring crop condition (June)
We will assess post planting condition of corn, sunflower and soybean and ongoing condition of wheat and make yield forecasts.
3.     Pre-harvest assessment, early crops (July)
We will assess the pre-harvest condition of wheat and make a yield forecast.
4.     Pre-harvest assessment, late crops (August)
We will assess the pre-harvest condition of corn, sunflower and soybean and make a yield forecast.
5.     Post-planting winter crop condition (November)
We will assess the post planting condition winter wheat prior to winter.
Crop Condition Scoring
We use two techniques to assess the condition of crops.
1.     Rapid Crop Appraisal
Referring to a set of assessment criteria we score crops on a five point scale from very poor to very good.
2.     Detailed Crop Appraisal
At regular points along the tour the team visit fields to take a detailed appraisal of the crop including plant populations, growth stage, pests, diseases or weeds, abiotic disorders in particular weather related issues.
In addition to Rapid and Detailed Crop Appraisals, the team will be looking for further information of interest, for example digging profile pits to assess soil moisture and interviewing farmers to canvass opinion on the season.
Yield forecasts
We will use the crop condition scores and official planting figures to determine our yield forecast.
Results
Results will be available through two sources.
1.     Twitter
We will post pictures, video and comments on a members-only Twitter during each tour.
(We use Twitter as we find that it works well in remote regions and allows us to post pictures directly from the field)
2.     Report
Shortly after the end of each tour, we will email a full report of our findings.
We will be available for phone or skype calls after the final report is written to answer any further questions.
Fees and payment Terms
Membership fees are one payment of £350 for one full season.

We will donate 2% from each membership subscription to charities in Ukraine and Russia.

Email your interest to blackseacroptour@gmail.com