June 5, 2007

 

Drought damages 650,000 hectares of Ukraine grain
 

 

Grain crops in Ukraine have been irreparably damaged on 650,000 hectares and the extent of the damage is likely to be greater because about 10 million hectares have been affected by the drought, the government press service reported Tuesday, quoting Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Slauta.

 

Ukraine planted spring grains this year on 8.034 million hectares and winter grains on 6.981 million hectares.

 

In 2006, Ukraine's grain harvest fell by 9.9 percent on the year to 34.3 million tonnes in clean weight. Grain was harvested on 14.19 million hectares.

 

Slauta was quoted as saying, "A week ago, crops were damaged on 407,000 hectares, now the irreparably damaged area is 650,000 hectares and the figure is creeping up to 1 million hectares."

 

The drought began in the second half of May, with moisture content in the soil reported at about one third of normal levels. The most affected areas are Kherson, Nikolaev, Odessa, Crimea, Zaporozhye, Kirovograd, Donetsk, Lugansk, Dnepropetrovsk and Cherkassy.