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News 1717 views last update:14 Jan 2016

Ukraine: Dry spell may harm wheat and barley harvest

Ukraine agricultural analysts from the company UkrAgroConsult, trimmed its forecast for Ukraine's 2013 grain harvest to 52.21 million tonnes due to lower-than-expected wheat and barley output following the continuing dryness.

The consultancy, which last month forecasted a harvest of 52.38 million tonnes, cut its wheat output estimate by 0.35% to 20.16 million tonnes and its barley harvest forecast by 1.3% to 7.65 million tonnes.

"The analysis of the condition of winter and spring crops in late April gives us grounds to somewhat reduce the grain output forecast. The grain harvest will nevertheless exceed last year's level," UkrAgroConsult said in a statement.

According to the consultancy's data, Ukraine harvested 42.1 million tonnes of grain in 2012, while the government put the volume at 46.2 million. The Agriculture Ministry has said the former Soviet republic could harvest at least 50 million tonnes of grain this year.

UkrAgroConsult said it kept its forecast of 2013 maize production at 21.8 million tonnes. "Since spring came late to the Forest-Steppe and Forest regions, many farmers intend to expand plantings of grain corn as one of the most productive and remunerative crops," it said.

"At the same time, the planting area is somewhat shrinking year on year in the Steppe zone where the spring soil moisture content is below usual."

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