November 8, 2011


Severe drought affects Ukraine's winter grains


Ukraine's winter grains sown for the 2012 harvest may lose up to 30% due to severe drought, weather forecasters said Monday (Nov 7).


Tetyana Adamenko, head of the agricultural department of Ukraine's meteorological centre said about 50% of the sown areas has not sprouted so far or is in poor state.


"Up to 30% of winter grains could be reseeded in Ukraine while some regions could lose a half of crops. I do not remember such poor weather".


Frost killed up to 10% of Ukrainian winter crops in the 2010/11 winter.


According to the data provided by Ukraine's Agriculture Ministry, farms had sown 8.02 million hectares for the 2012 grain harvest as of November 4, including 6.48 million hectares of winter wheat, 1.21 million of winter barley and 327,000 of winter rye.


But the ministry said in a statement that crops had sprouted on the area of about five million hectares or 63% of the sown area.


The ministry said 1.6 million of already sprouted crops, or 32.2%, were in poor state, while the other 3.4 million were in good or satisfactory conditions as of November 4.


About 39% of Ukrainian winter grain crops were in poor state as of October 27 and 29% as of October 24.


"Most crops are 2-3 weeks behind the normal growth schedule," the ministry said in a statement.


It said poor crops would be reseeded next spring. Farms traditionally reseed crops killed by winter frosts with spring barley, corn or sunflower.


Adamenko said a severe drought which started in mid-summer, would continue for at least the next 2-3 weeks and any rains in late November were unlikely to change the conditions of crops.


"We see no rain in the near future. Only a mild winter with snow could help crops to survive but there is a little chance for that," she said.


Adamenko said forecasters had already registered frost of minus 15 degrees of Celsius (+5 degrees Fahrenheit) in Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine.


"We are waiting for cold weather with night temperatures of about minus 3-4 degrees Celsius and plus 1-4 in daytime," she said.

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