KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine, hit by a severe drought, plans to cut winter wheat planted areas this fall to 6.1 million hectares from 6.7 million a year earlier, the Economy Ministry said.
According to the ministry, as of September 28, farms have sown about 25% of the expected area, or 1.5 million hectares.
In addition, the farms planted 61,200 hectares with winter barley, which is 6% of the expected total area under this crop. Ukraine plans to occupy 946.300 hectares of winter barley, up from 1.06 million last year.
Forecasters call the weather conditions the worst in 10 years, since only 10% to 15% of Ukraine's arable land is suitable for sowing winter crops of the 2021 harvest due to severe drought.
Ukraine traditionally begins the sowing campaign of winter crops in early September, but this year the farmers started sowing a few weeks later.
Ukraine provides about 16% of global grain exports and sold 57.2 million tons of grain abroad in the 2019/20 season, which ended in June. The government expects exports to fall to 47.4 million tonnes in 2020/21.
(Pavel Polityuk. Text by Natalia Zinets. Editor Dmitry Antonov)