Ukraine could lose 20% of winter grain crops if hot, dry weather persists

By Reuters

Most of Ukraine’s winter grain crops are in good condition but grain yields could fall by 20 per cent if current dry and hot weather persists, APK-Inform consultancy quoted agricultural scientists as saying on Monday.

Ukraine is a major grain grower and exporter but its production has fallen sharply since Russia invaded the country in February last year.

Grain output decreased to around 53 million tons in 2022 from a record 86 million tons in 2021. The government has said that in 2023 the harvest could decline to 44.5 million tons.

Winter wheat dominates the Ukrainian winter grain harvest and accounts for 95 per cent of the country’s overall wheat production. “In general, weather conditions for most of the spring period were sufficiently favourable for growth and development of winter cereal crops,” Ukraine’s national academy of agricultural science said in a report.

“However, in case of continuation of dry weather in the period of grain filling, especially on the background of high air temperatures… the share of lost yields can be from 15 to 20 per cent,” it said, giving no exact forecast of the harvest.

Scientists noted that crops which were sown very late were particularly at risks.

The Ukrainian agriculture minister told Reuters on Friday that the ministry forecast the 2023 winter grain crop at around 18 million tonnes, or 20% less than in 2022.

This article has been republished from Global News

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