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News 237 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Drought hits Ukraine grain industry

Ukraine's grain harvest could suffer a shortfall of up to 10 million metric tons this year due to the nationwide drought, according to the economics minister.

The drought in late May and early June affected large farming areas in the ex-Soviet country. "Forecasts vary: losses are estimated to reach between 7 and 10 million metric tons," Anatoly Kinakh said.

The agriculture minister in Ukraine's Crimea, Pavlo Akimov, said earlier that temperatures of up to 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) and soil temperatures of up to 46 degrees Celsius (115 degrees Fahrenheit) in May, as well as a lack of rainfall, had damaged winter and spring grain crops, in particular barley, oats, and grain legumes.

The economics minister said the government had recently adopted a resolution on food procurements for 2007-2008 and minimizing the drought's consequences. The country stocked up on food resources before the 2007 harvest, and there will not be a bread shortage, he said. Ukraine is expected to harvest about 30 million metric tons of grain this year.

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