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Ukraine’s 2013 wheat harvest expected to rise by 20%

Ukraine's 2013 wheat harvest is likely to increase to 19.3 million tonnes from 15.8 million tonnes in 2012 due to better weather, a senior weather forecaster reported recently.

Tetyana Adamenko, head of the state weather forecasting centre's agriculture department, said the overall harvest of winter grains - winter wheat, winter barley and winter rye - could total 22.4 million tonnes versus 17.1 million tonnes in 2012.

"This year's harvest is unlikely to be a record. The short and excessively hot spring gave plants very limited time to develop and the yield of wheat will not be high," Adamenko reported.

She said wheat yield could average 2.9 tonnes per hectare compared to 2.8 tonnes last year.

Adamenko said drought across Ukrainian eastern and southern regions could cut the yield of wheat significantly to less than 2.2 tonne per hectares.

Wheat fields in Luhansk, Kherson, Zaporizhya regions and in Crimea were affected by drought, she said.

Adamenko added that recent rains did not improve wheat condition in those regions.

"The larger harvested area is the major reason for the (expected) higher harvest," said Mykola Kulbida, the head of the state weather centre. He said this year's harvested area would be more than 1.0 million hectares larger than in 2012.

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