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News 926 views last update:14 Jan 2016

Ukraine: Record crop harvest forecast in 2013

Favourable weather has put Ukraine on course for its biggest harvest since gaining independence 22 years ago. The country is raising its estimate for the corn crop to a record 21.2 mln tonnes

The growing season ahead of the 2013 harvest, started well allowing farmers to plant "most intended areas to winter grains within optimal time frames" - meaning that crops "entered the winter in largely good and satisfactory condition", the analysis of UkrAgroConsult group said.

Crops had been largely spared damage from a winter cold too, retaining "high productivity potential", claimed experts, rating 62.2% of winter grains as "good", in terms of condition, the best reading for late February since at least 2008. A year before, after a harsh winter, only 26.8% of winter crops were rated "good".

"Abundant precipitation" over the winter had also prepared the ground to support growth once crops emerge from dormancy, replenishing moisture levels - sapped by drought last year which sent wheat output tumbling by nearly 30% - back to long-term average levels.

Evidence even pointed to farmers being well prepared for further crop care too, acquiring nearly 300,000 tonnes of nitrogen fertilizers, 44% of the amount needed, a figure four points higher than a year ago.

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