The sowing campaign in Ukraine is 99% completed. According to the forecasts, Ukraine will have full domestic consumption of all key agricultural crops at the level of 65 million tons of grain, legumes and oilseeds, including potential exports of about 30 million.
The First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Taras Vysotskyi informed about this during a press briefing at the Media Center Ukraine. He also noted how crop structures have changed, how much harvest has already been lost, and the amount of losses for the agricultural sector.
"At the beginning of the war, the sowing campaign has not yet begun, but farmers have already been actively prepared for it. Thus, the main material and technical resources were purchased and delivered: more than 80% of mineral fertilizers in demand, about 70-80% of seeds, 60% of plant protection products, about a third of fuel." – Vysotskyi stated. According to him, such early preparation has played an important role for all current crop indicators.
This year, as the First Deputy Minister explained, there has been some restructure of changes in terms of crop priority. This was due to several factors: the cost per hectare, the possibility of sale for domestic needs and the yield per hectare of land and its cost per ton. Given the complicated export logistics the last point is important: farmers preferred those crops that give a higher value per ton, especially oilseeds.
The largest change in crop structure concerned wheat, corn, sunflower and soybeans.
Thus, if 192 thousand hectares of spring wheat were sown in 2021, this year – almost 200 thousand hectares. Firstly, wheat is important for food security, and secondly, it is a less demanding crop in terms of intensity, material resources, Taras Vysotskyi commented.
Soybeans is a crop that is not demanding to mineral fertilizers. However its sown area remained at the level of the previous year – about 1250 thousand hectares (last year – 1300 thousand hectares), but in this year's structure of crops its volumes have increased, as in general the sown areas have decreased.
The sunflower sowing areas decreased compared to the last year, but insignificantly and remained high indicator at 4 million 700 thousand hectares.
There was a reduction in corn crops: this year 4 million 600 thousand and 5 million 500 thousand hectares the last year, due to the fact that corn gives high yields and more difficult in logistics.
This structure of sown areas fully guarantees the internal food security of Ukraine, Taras Vysotskyi assured.
According to him, now we expect about 48-50 million tons of grain and legumes: corn – 24 million tons, wheat – 18-20 million tons, barley – about 5 million tons, and other crops.
The oil harvest should be at least 15 million tons. Thus, it is expected to produce about 10 million tons of sunflower, 2.5-2.8 million tons of soybeans and about 2.5 million tons of winter rapeseed.
“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 handle with such volumes, it is necessary to export at least 4 million tons per month." – Vysotskyi emphasized.