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  • By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media

Ukraine to Harvest Largest Winter Wheat Crop in 25 Years

For the 2015/16 marketing year, Ukraine is expected to harvest 27.6 million tons of winter wheat – the largest such harvest for the country since 1990, according to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture ‘s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) on October 28.

Corn output, however, is expected to fall by 20% year on year to 22.7 million tons. As of October 20, Ukraine harvested 13.5 million tons of corn from 63% of its total 41 million planted hectares, according to data from the country’s Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food (MAPF). This harvested area is 9% lower from the same point last season, and yields are 2.7% lower year on year.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian barley production is forecast to fall by 5% year on year to 9 million tons, and the country’s rye production is expected to fall by 23% year on year to 365,000 tons.

Looking forward to next year’s production brings a different view. The country’s farmers are in the process of planting winter crops. As of October 20, winter wheat planting reached 5.1 million hectares, barley planting reached 574,000 hectares, and rye planting reached 140,000 hectares. Wheat and rye planting is down by 13% and barley planting is down by 26%, according to the MAPF due to low soil moisture content and insufficient rains.

Topsoil in Mykolaiv, Kherson, Zaporozhye, and certain areas of Odessa, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Poltava, and Kirovohrad is completely dry, and the majority of the remainder of the country is still affected by drought that has lasted up to 2 months.

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