October 21, 2022


Ukraine revises 2023 wheat area forecast higher



Data from Ukraine's Agriculture Ministry showed its wheat area forecast for next year's winter wheat harvest was revised higher to 4 million hectares from 3.8 million hectares in the previous outlook, Reuters reported.


As of October 18, or 61% of the anticipated area, farmers had sown 2.5 million hectares of winter wheat, according to the ministry.


The data showed Ukraine's pace of sowing winter wheat for the 2023 harvest is 50% slower than it was last year, when farmers had sown 5 million hectares as of October 18.


While local officials and analysts attribute the delay primarily to rains that affected much of the country and a lack of funding, the ministry provided no explanation for the decrease.


For the harvest in 2022, Ukraine planted more than 6 million hectares of winter wheat, but since the Russian invasion in February, a sizable portion of that land has been under Russian military control. This year, only 4.6 million hectares of wheat were harvested by farms.


Because of unfavourable weather, less than 30% of the winter grain crop area for the 2023 harvest was sown this week, which was "significantly less" than in previous years, according to Ukrainian state weather forecasters.


Additionally, they warned that crops sown in October might enter the winter still growing, making them weak and vulnerable to harsh winter weather.


The ministry reported last week that farmers had finished the 2022 wheat harvest, threshing 19.2 million tonnes of the grain as opposed to 32.2 million tonnes in 2021, and that the conflict in the country's eastern, northern, and southern regions was the reason for the decrease in production.


In light of an anticipated decline in the winter wheat sowing area, Taras Vysotskyi, the Deputy Agriculture Minister, stated last month that Ukraine's 2023 wheat harvest may drop to 16–18 million tonnes.


-      Reuters

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