Cherkizovo Group, the largest meat and feed manufacturer in Russia, has started its 2015 sowing campaign. The company expects to increase the grain harvest by over 40% compared to 2014, to more than 400,000 tonnes.
Cherkizovo has started its sowing campaign in Voronezh, Lipetsk, Orel, and Tambov Regions. The company increased its operating land bank from 60,000 ha to nearly 90,000 ha in 2015 by purchasing 20,000 ha of farmland in Tambov Region. The main crops will be wheat, corn, sunflower, and soybeans. Before starting the sowing campaign, the Group’s experts worked hard to feed winter crops and enrich the soil with high quality mineral fertilizer according to the best agricultural practice.
Cherkizovo Group is planning to buy modern high-capacity combines, seeders, self-propelled sprayers, and trucks for more than 500 million roubles (€8.8 million) to ensure successful expansion of its grain division. According to the company’s forecast, the 2015 harvest will exceed 400,000 tonnes, given favourable conditions.
Cherkizovo is steadily increasing the size of its planted areas and harvests. A total of 116,000 tonnes were harvested from 40,000 ha in 2012; 175,000 tonnes from 60,000 ha in 2013; and 242,000 tonnes from 60,000 ha in 2014*.
Along with increased harvests, the company’s yield is also rising year by year. Gross yield of winter wheat on the Group’s lands increased from 5.1 t/ha in 2013 to 6.2 t/ha in 2014 (average yield in the country according to the Ministry of Agriculture is 2.6 t/ha).
Developing its own grain division has helped Cherkizovo Group increase its level of vertical integration. The company manufactures all of its own feed (more than 1.4 million tonnes in 2014), which requires nearly 1 million tonnes of grain. Cherkizovo reached 20% self-sufficiency in grain in 2014. In the medium term, the company plans to reach more than 40% self-sufficiency in grain.
Cherkizovo Group not only invests in land and farm machinery, but also in modern storage facilities that preserve grain properly for extended periods. The company’s total grain storage capacity currently exceeds 800,000 tonnes. A storage facility will soon be put into operation as part of the Eletsprom project, which will increase overall storage capacity to one million tonnes.
*Data are given for the gross harvest. The land area has been rounded.