July 17, 2012
Due to unfavourable weather, Ukraine's 2012 corn yield is likely to fall by 1.0-1.2 tonnes per hectare against 2011, a senior weather forecaster said on Monday (July 16).
Ukrainian farms sowed a record 4.6 million hectares for the 2012 corn harvest but the output is unlikely to reach last year's 22.7 million tonnes due to a severe drought which hit the leading corn-producing areas.
"After last week's torrential rains in eastern, southern and central regions we can say that the soil drought has stopped," Mykola Kulbida, head of the state weather forecasting centre, told a news conference.
"But a complex of negative factors has already affected the yield of corn which could be by 1.0-1.2 tonnes per hectare lower."
Kulbida gave no forecast for the 2012 corn harvest while Tetyana Adamenko, head of the centre's agriculture department, told Reuters this month that the harvest could total 20-21 million tonnes.
She also said the centre had lowered its outlook for the 2012 grain harvest to 42 million tonnes from a previous estimate of 44 million because of a smaller-than-expected corn crop.
Forecasters said that poor weather could reduce the Ukrainian wheat harvest to about 12-14 million tonnes from 22.3 million in 2011.
The Ukrainian government has said the 2012 harvest could fall to 45.3 million tonnes from a record 56.7 million tonnes in 2011 due to a drought during the sowing and severe frosts during the wintering.
The Agriculture Ministry last week cut its outlook for the former Soviet republic's grain exports in the current season to 20 million tonnes from 22-23 million tonnes.
Ukraine, which consumes 26 million tonnes of grain per season, exported 21.8 million tonnes of grain in 2011-12.