Reuters writer Pavel Polityuk reported yesterday that, “Ukraine’s spring crop sowing area may more than halve this year from 2021 levels to some 7 million hectares, its Agriculture Minister Roman Leshchenko said on Tuesday, versus 15 million hectares expected before the Russian invasion.
“He said farmers could sow up to 3.3 million hectares of corn this year versus 5.4 million hectares in 2021,” the Reuters article said, adding that, “Leshchenko said the ministry had urged farmers to sow more spring wheat, buckwheat, oats, millet and spring barley. He gave no forecast for the sown area of those specific crops, but said overly dry weather could affect the sowing.”
The Reuters article added that, “Leshchenko said farmers sowed a total of 6.5 million hectares of winter wheat for the 2022 harvest, but the harvested area could be only around 4 million hectares due to war in many Ukrainian regions.
“He declined to forecast the 2022 grain harvest, because ‘the situation has not fully stabilized,’ he said.”
Also yesterday, Reuters writer Natalia Zinets reported that, “Ukraine’s northwestern Rivne region has started sowing spring crops, and aims to sow 420,000 hectares and support regions whose harvests may be more heavily disrupted by the war with Russia, Governor Vitaliy Koval said on Tuesday.
“Rivne, which lies on Ukraine’s northern border with Belarus, has started sowing spring wheat, oats and sugar beets and plans to plant large areas with spring cereals, sunflower and soybeans, Koval said in an online statement.”
And Bloomberg writer Megan Durisin reported yesterday that, “Ukraine, the world’s biggest sunflower producer, may only plant half a normal crop as farmers grapple with the fallout of the Russian invasion.”
Durisin indicated that, “Ukrainian farmers are expected to sow about 3.5 to 4 million hectares (8.6 to 9.9 million acres) of the oilseed this spring, down from 6.8 million last year, Kyiv-based analyst UkrAgroConsult said in an emailed note. It framed its planting estimates as ‘optimistic,’ based on good weather and a rapid end to the war. Another researcher, APK-Inform, last week predicted plantings to fall to a 13-year low.
“Farmers lack fuel and are suffering damaged infrastructure and equipment, UkrAgroConsult said. Other major crops like corn and barley will also see significant planting cuts. And grains sown before winter, such as wheat, could face lower yields due to challenges applying inputs like fertilizer.”
Meanwhile, Jude Webber reported yesterday at The Financial Times Online that, “Ireland, best-known for its grass-fed beef and dairy, has launched a €12mn crop cultivation scheme to boost grain production as the war in Ukraine creates a crunch in global supplies.
“The Irish government on Tuesday approved a payment of €400 per hectare to encourage farmers to plant additional barley, wheat and oats, in a return to a ‘wartime tillage’ programme last used during the second world war.”
Also yesterday, an editorial from The Financial Times stated that, “Russia and Ukraine are major food producers, accounting for roughly 30 per cent of global exports of wheat and barley. Russia alone exports 15 per cent of global fertiliser, while Belarus, also under sanctions, is an important producer of potash, crucial for growing soyabeans that in turn go into animal feed. If farmers around the world use less fertiliser, next year’s harvests in Brazil, Argentina and other agricultural powerhouses could collapse.”
By Keith Good,
Source: Farm Policy News