Ukraine: Generally Favorable Conditions for 2013/14 Winter Grains
The planting of 2013/14 winter grains in Ukraine is nearly complete, with the reported area only slightly above last year’s level. According to November 6 data from the Ministry of Agricultural Policy, the sown area of winter wheat reached 6.6 million hectares (against 6.5 million by the same date last year). Winter wheat accounts for about 95 percent Ukrainian wheat production. Rye area was reported at 0.30 (0.33) million. Virtually all of the country’s rye is winter rye. Winter barley was sown on 1.07 million hectares by November 6, with planting about 90 percent complete. By the same date last year, barley had been planted on 1.04 million hectares against the final sown area of 1.37 million. Winter barley typically accounts for about 25 percent of the total barley area.
Winter rape is the first winter crop to be planted, and sowing was complete by the end of September. Sown area was reported at 8.94 million hectares, slightly below last year’s level of 9.36 million, and the lowest planted area in six years. Winter rape accounts for about 90 percent of Ukraine’s total rape output.
Low precipitation in September and early October enabled the fall sowing of 2013/14 winter grains to proceed at a rapid pace, although the dryness hampered emergence and establishment in some areas. Conditions in most areas improved with the arrival of beneficial rain in October, but southeastern Ukraine remained persistently dry. Surface-wetness anomaly data, derived from microwave satellite imagery, indicate that the dryness was acute throughout September and October in five territories in southeastern Ukraine (Crimea, Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk, and Luhansk) that together account for about 20 percent of the country’s winter-grain area. Conditions had begun to improve in this region by early November, although Crimea remains unfavorably dry.
Despite the localized dryness in the southeast, overall conditions for Ukraine’s winter grains are fairly good, and certainly much better than at this time last year. Severe drought during the fall of 2011 was largely responsible for the destruction of an estimated 30 percent of the fall-sown winter grains for 2012/13. (See December and February assessment reports.)
The valuable contribution of Yuliya Dubinyuk, USDA/FAS agricultural specialist in Kyiv, is gratefully acknowledged. Initial USDA forecasts of 2012/13 global crop production will be released in May 2013.
Current USDA area and production estimates for grains and other agricultural commodities are available on IPAD’s Agricultural Production page, or at PSD Online.