March 31, 2006


Ukraine cuts 2006 spring grain planting


Ukraine will plant in 2006 spring grains on 5.89 million hectares, down from previous estimates of 7.5 million hectares, the agriculture ministry said Friday (Mar 31).


The reduction in the planned spring grains planted area has been caused by a late spring, which delayed the start of planting by some ten days.


Ukraine planted spring grains on 168,400 hectares to Mar 30, compared with 332,100 hectares on the same date last year.


The planting delay and the resulting decrease in the planted area will further damage the 2006 harvest prospects, especially as winter grains, damaged by unusually cold weather in January-February, need to be replanted on 739,200 hectares.


Even before the latest assessment of the spring grains planted area, the agriculture ministry said Ukraine's wheat harvest this year was likely to fall by about 30 percent on the year to 13 million tonnes in clean weight.