The sowing campaign in Ukraine is close to completion and according to forecasts, will be able to ensure domestic consumption of all key agricultural crops at around 65 million tonnes of cereals, legumes and oilseeds. This includes potential exports of about 30 million.

First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, Taras Vysotskyi, discussed this during a press briefing, with special mention of how crop structures have changed, how much harvest has ben lost, the total losses for the agricultural sector.

Restructuring sowing in Ukraine was influenced by a number of factors, Mr Vysotskyi reported, based on the cost per hectare, the possibility of sale for domestic needs and the yield per hectare of land and its cost per ton. The latter factor is particularly important as farmers preferred crops that give more value per ton, such as oilseeds.

Biggest changes in the structure of crops concerned wheat, corn, sunflower and soybeans. Wheat is important for food security and a less demanding crop in terms of intensity and resources, Mr Vysotskyi said, and soybeans are undemanding with regards to mineral fertilisers. The Seed Association reported that Ukrainian farmers were planting soybeans in favour of corn, as they require less processing and can be sold abroad. Read about this, HERE.

The area of sunflowers planted is decreased compared with last year's figures, but remains relatively high at 4.7m thousand hectares. Maize crops have reduced, too, from five million to four million thousand hectares, due to the fact that corn gives a higher yield and is more difficult logistically.

"We will have up to 20 million tons of transitional residues from the previous harvest and potentially at least an additional 30 million tons to export from the new one. In order to cope with such volumes, it is necessary to export at least 4 million tons a month," Vysotsky stresses.

Current expectations rests at 48-50 million tons of cereals and legumes: 24 million tons of corn, 18-20 million tons of wheat, and 5 million tons of barley and other crops.

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