March 14, 2006


Ukraine's spring grain planting delayed by poor weather



Ukraine is likely to begin its spring grain planting campaign this year 7-10 days later than normal because of adverse weather conditions, a statement from the national weather centre said.


The statement said the delay in spring planting was caused by unusually cold weather, which had resulted in a thick snow cover in the fields, reaching 60 centimetres, as well as in an unusually deep freezing of the soil.


Now Ukrainian farmers will have to complete spring grain planting in the short interval between April 1 and April 15.


The news casts more doubt on the success of this year's harvest, especially as a large scale replanting of winter grains, damaged by cold winter, will have to be done.


The Agriculture Ministry said March 1 only 26 percent, or 1.6 million hectares, of winter grains were in good condition, with 39 percent, or 2.4 million hectares, being in a satisfactory condition, and 28 percent, or 1.7 million hectares, being in weak condition.