Crop Explorer - Commodity Intelligence Reports - Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus

Commodity Intelligence Reports - Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus

Feb 8 2018 | Ukraine: Early Prospects for 2018/19 Winter Grains
Early prospects for Ukraine’s 2018/19 winter crops are favorable. According to the State Statistical Service of Ukraine, winter wheat was planted on 6.56 million hectares (against 6.41 million for 2017/18), winter barley on 0.98 (1.04) million, and winter rye on 0.15 (0.17) million. All values include estimated area in Crimea. (See Figure 1.)

Jun 21 2017 | Ukraine: Winter Wheat Conditions Deteriorate in Central and West but Remain Good in t
Unfavorable weather has reduced yield prospects for winter wheat in north-central and western Ukraine. Persistent dryness, coupled with below-normal temperatures during April and mid-May, hampered crop development and severely reduced crop vigor in western Ukraine, as indicated by satellite-derived vegetation indices (the normalized difference vegetation index, or NDVI). Although wheat yields in the drier areas will likely be substantially reduced, the lower production could be largely offset by the high potential yields in southern Ukraine where weather was conducive for winter-crop development. The NDVI map highlights the striking difference between conditions in southern Ukraine compared to conditions to the north and west. USDA estimates 2017/18 Ukraine wheat yield at 3.79 metric tons per hectare, down 9 percent from last year’s record but 5 percent above the 5-year average. Production is forecast at 25.0 million metric tons, down 1.8 million from last year

Apr 25 2017 | Ukraine: Early Spring Conditions for 2017/18 Winter Wheat
In late March and early April, personnel from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) conducted field travel in Ukraine. The team examined 2017/18 winter-crop conditions in key production territories, interviewed farm directors, agricultural officials, private commodity analysts, and visited a hybrid seed production facility. Winter crops were observed to be in generally good condition although spring development was slightly behind average due to late planting and delayed fall establishment.

Jan 30 2017 | Ukraine: Sown Area and Early Prospects for 2017/18 Winter Crops
Winter wheat was planted on 6.41 million hectares (mha), up slightly from last year’s 6.29 mha, according to data from the State Statistical Committee of Ukraine (SSC). The SSC published the final fall-sown area for 2017/18 winter crops in December 2016. Winter wheat typically accounts for over 95 percent of Ukraine's total wheat area. Wheat is grown throughout Ukraine, but the southern and eastern oblasts comprise the main production region. Winter barley, which is planted in southern Ukraine and accounts for nearly 40 percent of total barley area, was sown on 1.04 mha compared to 1.13 mha last year. Rye was planted on 0.17 mha against 0.14 mha last year. Virtually all of Ukraine’s rye is winter rye. The total fall-sown area of 2017/18 winter grains is essentially unchanged from last year at 7.6 mha.

May 23 2016 | Ukraine: 2016/17 Crop Production Forecasts
Favorable weather combined with the resourcefulness and flexibility of Ukrainian crop producers has enabled the country to maintain fairly high yields for the country’s major crops over the past two years despite severe economic difficulties and social disruptions. Although wheat output for 2016/17 is forecast to drop by 12 percent from last year, the decrease is attributed chiefly to lower planted area due to excessive fall dryness. Favorable spring weather has greatly improved wheat yield prospects, and output is forecast by USDA at 24.0 million tons, down 3.3 million from last year’s crop which was the highest in 25 years. Nearly all of Ukraine’s wheat is winter wheat, and harvest will begin in late June. All USDA forecasts include estimated output from Crimea.

Feb 25 2016 | Ukraine: 2016/17 Winter Grain Conditions
Because of excessive fall dryness, 11 percent of Ukraine’s sown winter-grain area for 2016/17 has failed to emerge, according to data from the Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food (MAPF). The low level of crop emergence, combined with the sizable year-to-year drop in fall-sown area reported by the State Statistical Committee of Ukraine, suggests that the surviving 2016/17 winter-grain area could decrease by as much as 20 percent from last year.

Nov 30 2015 | Ukraine: Sown Area for 2016/17 Wheat Likely to Drop by 15 Percent
Severe dryness has sharply reduced the planted area of 2016/17 winter wheat in Ukraine. With fall sowing essentially finished, the planted area as of November 17, 2015,was reported by the Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food at 5.6 million hectares (not including an additional 0.3 million in Crimea), reaching only 90 percent of the official forecast and down 13 percent from the same date last year. The shortfall was most apparent in the steppe zone, which typically accounts for over half of the country’s wheat area. Because of the resiliency of winter wheat and the dominant role of spring weather, however, it would be premature to forecast a significant drop in yield based on current conditions. Ukraine’s 2015/16 wheat crop was also subject to considerable fall dryness but conditions rebounded following generous spring precipitation, and the final yield reached a near-record level.

Jun 10 2015 | Ukraine: Improving Prospects for 2015/16 Winter Wheat
Production prospects for Ukraine’s 2015/16 wheat crop have improved substantially since last fall, when severe dryness hampered the crop’s emergence and establishment. Spring rains provided much-needed moisture for winter crops as they broke dormancy and resumed vegetative growth. USDA forecasts wheat output at 23.0 million tons, down 7.1 percent from last year’s bumper harvest but 13 percent above the 5-year average. Both large agricultural enterprises and small farms are facing sharply higher prices for agricultural inputs (especially imported seed and agrichemicals), while commercial interest rates are approaching 30 percent. Crop producers are responding in a variety of ways in order to minimize the impact of the high prices and maintain acceptable yields, including substituting cheaper but less effective domestic products and reducing application rates for mineral fertilizer.

Dec 18 2014 | Ukraine: Establishment Conditions for 2015/16 Winter Grains
According to data from the Ukrainian Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food and estimates from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, 2015/16 winter grains were planted on 8.03 million hectares compared to 7.79 million last year. The total includes an estimated 0.4 million hectares of winter grains in Crimea based on Rosstat planting reports and historical data from the State Statistical Committee of Ukraine. Wheat was planted on approximately 6.75 million hectares (against 6.34 million last year), barley on 1.13 (1.25) million, and rye on 0.15 (0.20) million. An additional 0.82 million hectares of winter rape was planted in Ukraine compared to 0.95 million last year. Generally dry weather throughout the fall sowing campaign enabled winter crops to be planted without undue delay.

May 9 2014 | Ukraine: Crop Production Forecasts for 2014/15
Specialists from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service traveled to Kyiv in early April to conduct interviews with agricultural officials and private commodity analysts in order to assess Ukrainian crop-production prospects for 2014. The observations of local specialists were consistent with USDA analysis indicating that winter-crop conditions were better than average as of late April.

Mar 12 2014 | Ukraine Planting Prospects for 2014/15
Current prospects for Ukraine's winter crops and spring-sowing campaign remain generally favorable. The country’s wheat crop is already in the ground, and the availability of most inputs for spring sowing (including fuel, fertilizer, seed, and credit) has not been interrupted. The use of certain imported inputs, specifically plant-protection chemicals and hybrid seed, could decrease from last year's level if Ukraine’s currency exchange rate does not improve within the next few months.

Jan 10 2014 | Ukraine: Early Conditions for 2014/15 Winter Grains
According to data from the State Statistical Committee of Ukraine, the total sown area for 2014/15 winter crops (including wheat, barley, rye, and rape) decreased by 4 percent from last season. Wheat, which typically comprises about 80 percent of Ukraine’s winter-grain area, was planted on a reported 6.34 million hectares compared to 6.70 million last year. Winter crops were in generally good condition as of early January, although the widespread lack of protective snow cover increases the risk of potential frost damage in the event of unusually low temperatures.

May 13 2013 | Ukraine: Wheat Prospects Remain Favorable
Early-May prospects for 2013/14 wheat production in Ukraine remain generally favorable despite recent dryness. The crop benefited from outstanding establishment conditions in the fall and unusually low frost damage during the winter. Subsoil moisture reserves were at or near capacity when winter crops resumed vegetative growth in the spring, and current moisture levels are adequate except for areas of localized dryness in south-central Ukraine and extreme eastern Ukraine. Final winter-crop yields will hinge largely on weather during the remainder of May. The USDA estimates total wheat production at 22.0 million tons compared to 15.8 million last year. Record output is estimated for corn and sunflowerseed due to a forecast rebound in yield, but late planting is expected to reduce spring-barley yield this year and total barley production is forecast at a below-average level for the second consecutive year.

Nov 15 2012 | 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.

May 10 2012 | Ukraine Trip Report: Fall Drought Reduces Winter-Crop Prospects for 2012/13
Analysts from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service traveled throughout central, eastern, and southern Ukraine in mid-April to examine winter-crop conditions and conduct interviews with crop producers, agricultural officials, and private commodity analysts. The team observed that the majority of wheat fields in eastern and southern Ukraine showed signs of poor germination and establishment resulting mostly from excessive fall dryness. Winter rape and winter barley fields in southern Ukraine were in especially poor condition. Evidence of frost damage was evident in some fields, but damage was localized and limited largely to areas within fields where strong wind had removed snow cover and dormant crops were left unprotected from low temperatures. Early-spring conditions were beneficial for the development of winter crops as they broke dormancy and resumed vegetative growth in March, with cool weather and adequate surface-soil moisture. The favorable spring weather, however, is unlikely to fully compensate for the weak winter-crop conditions that resulted from the severe fall drought. Wheat production for 2012/13 is forecast to drop by over 40 percent from last year, to 13.0 million tons.

Feb 17 2012 | Ukraine: Limited Frost Damage on 2012/13 Winter Wheat
Cold weather prevailed in Ukraine during late January and early February, raising alarms about potential damage to winter crops. Weather data and satellite imagery indicate that Ukraine's 2012/13 winter-wheat crop likely did not incur significant widespread damage as a result of the low temperatures because of the presence of adequate protective snow cover throughout most of the country. Current prospects for 2012/13 winter crops remain poor, however, due to severe and persistent fall dryness that hampered emergence and establishment in all regions of Ukraine.

Dec 14 2011 | Ukraine: Persistent Dryness Hampers 2012/13 Winter Grain Development
Establishment conditions for Ukraine's 2012/13 winter crops have been unusually and persistently dry. Although the dryness did not impede planting progress, surface soil moisture in most regions of the country was insufficient for proper crop establishment and officials report that about one-third of the county's winter grains are entering the winter in weak condition. Winter grains comprise about half of total grain area and production in Ukraine. According to a November 21 planting report from the Ministry of Agrarian Policy, winter grains for 2012/13 were sown on 8.05 million hectares (against 8.33 million for 2011/12), including 6.50 (6.55) million wheat, 0.33 (0.29) million rye, and 1.22 (1.25) million barley. Planting proceeded rapidly, virtually matching last year's pace, and was complete by early November.

May 21 2010 | Ukraine: 2010/11 Crop Production Forecasts and Trip Report
Analysts from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service in Washington and the office of the U.S. agricultural attache in Kiev conducted crop-assessment travel in central, eastern, and southern Ukraine during April. The team met with agricultural officials, independent commodity analysts, directors of agricultural enterprises, and private farmers in order to examine production prospects for 2010/11 grain and oilseed crops. The report includes observations and current production estimates.

Oct 21 2009 | Ukraine: Fall Dryness for 2010/11 Winter Grains
Conditions for a portion of Ukraine's 2010/11 winter grains have been alarmingly unfavorable due to persistent dryness. Weather data and satellite imagery indicate that both surface and subsurface moisture during August and September were the lowest in recent years. Although the situation has improved following rainfall in late September and early October, the earlier dryness hampered the emergence and establishment of winter crops in significant areas of southern and eastern Ukraine. Subsurface moisture reserves remain significantly below normal.

May 20 2009 | Ukraine: 2009/10 Crop Production Estimates and Trip Report
Analysts from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, including the U.S. agricultural attache in Kyiv, conducted April crop-assessment travel in Ukraine in order to assess 2009/10 production prospects for grains and oilseeds and examine the likely impact of the current credit crisis.

Feb 17 2009 | Ukraine: Early Conditions for 2009/10 Winter Grains
Ukraine has become a major exporter of grains during the past ten years. Following a bumper harvest in 2008, wheat exports for 2008/09 are estimated at nearly 10 million tons. Wheat is Ukraine's major winter grain, and although final yields will depend largely on spring weather, early prospects for 2009/10 winter crops are favorable.

Nov 19 2008 | Ukraine: Early Prospects for 2009/10 Winter Grains
Current conditions and early prospects for 2009/10 winter grains in Ukraine are reasonably good as planting nears completion. Sown area has surpassed the Ministry of Agriculture's target despite rain-related planting delays in mid-September, and planting is reportedly ahead of last year's pace. Weather and soil-moisture conditions are generally favorable despite recent dryness.

Jun 24 2008 | Ukraine: Estimated Wheat Yield Based on Satellite-Derived NDVI
The current USDA yield estimate is based chiefly on the analysis of satellite imagery: satellite-derived vegetative indices such as the normalized-difference vegetation index (NDVI) have proven to be a reasonably reliable indicator of wheat yield in both Ukraine and the neighboring winter-wheat region of southern Russia.

May 14 2008 | Ukraine: Grain Production Prospects and Trip Report
Analysts from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service in Washington and the office of the U.S. agricultural attache in Kiev conducted April crop-assessment travel in central, eastern, and southern Ukraine to assess 2008/09 crop production prospects and related issues. The team met with agricultural officials, independent commodity analysts, and directors of agricultural enterprises who provided extensive information on a variety of key issues.

May 16 2007 | Ukraine: Favorable Prospects for 2007/08 Wheat
Personnel from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service conducted crop-assessment travel in the main grain and oilseed production regions of Ukraine during mid-April. Conditions for winter crops were observed to be very good. Yield prospects for all major crops remain generally favorable despite persistent spring dryness that has reduced soil moisture in many areas of Ukraine. Recent precipitation has replenished surface moisture in most areas of Ukraine, but additional rain in May and June will be necessary to recharge subsurface moisture reserves and maintain the current yield outllook.

Mar 30 2007 | Ukraine: Winter Grains in Good Condition as Spring Growth Resumes
Early prospects for 2007/08 Ukraine winter grains are generally favorable. Unusually mild weather throughout the winter raised alarms about the lack of protective snow cover, but despite brief episodes of cold weather, temperatures did not drop low enough for a sufficient length of time to cause significant widespread frost damage. Winter crops have resumed vegetative growth throughout the country, and officials estimate that winterkill will be slightly higher than last year but below the long-term average.

Oct 23 2006 | Ukraine: Sown Area for 2007/08 Winter Wheat Likely to Increase by 15 Percent
As of October 16, farmers in Ukraine had planted 6.63 million hectares of winter grains for 2007/08, against 5.2 million by the same date last year and approximately 7.2 million in 2003 and 2004. The figure includes 5.6 million hectares of wheat, 0.36 million rye, and 0.44 million barley. The fall sowing campaign is nearly complete; agricultural officials forecast total 2007/08 winter grain area at 7.06 million hectares, compared to final sown area of 6.06 million for 2006/07.

May 18 2006 | Ukraine: Wheat Yield Forecast to Drop Due to Severe Fall Drought
Analysts from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) traveled through central, southern, and eastern Ukraine in April to examine winter crop conditions and spring planting progress. The team met with agricultural officials and independent commodity analysts in Kiev and conducted farm visits throughout the major production regions for winter wheat, winter barley, spring barley, corn, and sunflower seed.

Feb 9 2006 | Ukraine: Frost Damage to Winter Wheat in Eastern Region
A combination of low temperatures and shallow, patchy snow cover likely resulted in frost damage to 2006/07 winter wheat in eastern Ukraine between January 17 and January 19. Weather data indicate that damage was limited to three territories (oblasts) in far eastern Ukraine: Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Luhansk. These oblasts together account for about 20 percent of Ukraine's winter wheat area. The frost threat was more extensive in the Southern and Volga Districts of European Russia, where up to 40 percent of the winter wheat was subject to potentially damaging conditions.

Jan 13 2006 | Ukraine: Slight Improvement in Winter Grain Conditions
Sown winter-grain area for 2006/07 dropped by nearly 20 percent from last year in Ukraine. The reduction in area is attributed chiefly to persistent fall dryness that also hampered winter-crop emergence and establishment. According to preliminary data from the State Statistical Committee, winter grains were planted on 6.06 million hectares (against 7.46 million last year), including 5.14 (6.32) million wheat, 0.54 (0.48) million barley, and 0.38 (0.66) million rye.

Oct 20 2005 | Ukraine: Dryness Hampers Winter Grain Planting
Persistent dryness throughout Ukraine, beginning in August and extending into October, had a significant negative effect on the planting of 2006/07 winter grains. As of October 18, only 5.3 million hectares of winter crops had been sown compared to 7.2 million by the same date last year, according to Ministry of Agriculture data reported by the Ukrainian commodity analysis group APK-Inform. Grains typically comprise over 95 percent of total winter crops in Ukraine, and wheat accounts for about 85 percent of the winter grains.

Aug 11 2005 | Ukraine: Wheat Harvest on Track to Surpass Last Year
The USDA August estimate for 2005/06 Ukraine wheat production is 18.6 million tons against 17.5 million last year. The year-to-year increase is attributed to a 13-percent increase in area. Barley production, meanwhile, is forecast to drop by nearly 25 percent, to 8.5 million tons, due chiefly to hot, dry May weather that reduced yield in key production regions.

Jun 10 2005 | Ukraine: Excessive Heat in Key Wheat and Barley Region
The USDA estimates Ukraine wheat production for 2005/06 at 16.7 million tons (against 17.5 million in 2004/05) from an estimated area of 6.3 (5.9) million hectares. Barley production is estimated at 8.0 (11.1) million tons, down 1.0 million from last month due to likely significant stress on yield caused by hot, dry weather in eastern Ukraine. Barley area is estimated at 4.0 (4.5) million hectares.

Jun 10 2005 | Ukraine: Excessive Heat in Key Wheat and Barley Region
The USDA estimates Ukraine wheat production for 2005/06 at 16.7 million tons (against 17.5 million in 2004/05) from an estimated area of 6.3 (5.9) million hectares. Barley production is estimated at 8.0 (11.1) million tons, down 1.0 million from last month due to likely significant stress on yield caused by hot, dry weather in eastern Ukraine. Barley area is estimated at 4.0 (4.5) million hectares.

Jun 10 2005 | Sunflowerseed Production: Rebound in Ukraine, Level in Russia
The USDA estimates Ukraine sunflowerseed production for 2005/06 at 4.0 million tons, up 30 percent from last year when persistently wet weather reduced yield. Russian production is estimated at 4.8 million tons, roughly the same as last year. Analysts and agricultural attaches from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service conducted field travel in Ukraine and Russia during April to examine planting progress and early-season production prospects for sunflowerseed. The team met with agricultural officials, farm directors, and independent commodity analysts in the key sunflower regions in eastern Ukraine and southern Russia, and with officials and analysts in Kyiv and Moscow. (Previous reports describing 2005/06 grain-production prospects in Ukraine and Russia are available at PECAD Online.)

May 12 2005 | Ukraine: Late Spring Reduces Yield Prospects for Barley
Analysts from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service conducted field travel during April to assess production prospects for winter and early spring grains. The team met with agricultural officials, farm directors, and independent commodity analysts in central and eastern Ukraine to examine the crop impact of unusually mild winter weather and a cool, late spring spring. Winter wheat prospects remain generally favorable. Although winter-crop development is slightly behind normal, yield typically hinges largely on May weather.

Mar 30 2005 | Ukraine: Cool March Weather Delays Spring Planting
Unseasonably cool March weather and persistent snow cover are contributing to significant delays in Ukraine's spring sowing campaign. According to Ministry of Agriculture data, fewer than 100,000 hectares of early spring grains (chiefly barley) were planted by March 23 compared to nearly 2 million hectares sown by the same date last year. Warm and dry weather in early April would enable farmers to compensate to some degree for the late start -- although field work is hampered by a chronic shortage of grain drills and tractors -- but many fields will be planted beyond the optimum date regardless of April weather.

Feb 16 2005 | Ukraine: Snow Protects Wheat from Frigid Weather
Timely snowfall protected Ukraine winter grains from frost damage during a brief cold snap in early February, and crops remain in generally good condition.

Dec 16 2004 | Ukraine: Agricultural Overview
Ukraine agriculture has been evolving since it achieved independence in 1991, following the breakup of the Soviet Union. State and collective farms were officially dismantled in 2000. Farm property was divided among the farm workers in the form of land shares and most new shareholders leased their land back to newly-formed private agricultural associations. The sudden loss of State agricultural subsidies had an enormous effect on every aspect of Ukrainian agriculture. The contraction in livestock inventories that had begun in the late 1980's continued and intensified. Fertilizer use fell by 85 percent over a ten-year period, and grain production by 50 percent. Farms were forced to cope with fleets of aging, inefficient machinery because no funds were available for capital investment. At the same time, however, the emergence from the Soviet-style command economy enabled farmers to make increasingly market-based decisions regarding crop selection and management, which contributed to increased efficiency in both the livestock and crop-production sectors. Difficulty in obtaining credit, especially large, long-term loans, remains a significant problem for many farms.

Nov 10 2004 | Ukraine Corn Harvest Continues
The USDA estimates Ukraine corn production for 2004/05 at 6.6 million tons, unchanged from last month and down slightly from 6.85 million last year. Harvested area is estimated at 1.8 million hectares, down 10 percent from last year, and yield is forecast to increase by 7 percent to 3.7 tons per hectare. A cool, wet growing season resulted in high potential yield but also delayed crop development and maturation. (See October 22 update.) Generally favorable harvest weather, including above-normal temperatures in southern and central Ukraine, has enabled farmers to gather corn at a robust pace. Local reports, however, indicate that corn is being harvested at a higher-than-usual moisture content because of late maturation and will require considerable post-harvest drying.

Oct 22 2004 | Ukraine: Corn Output Will Hinge on Harvest Weather
The USDA October estimate for 2004/05 Ukraine corn production is 6.6 million tons, down slightly from last year's harvest of 6.85 million. The 2004 growing season for corn was marked by cool, wet weather which delayed planting and development but resulted in high "green yield" (the potential yield of the standing crop). Due to the crop's late maturation, harvest began later than usual this year. Production forecasts vary widely, with some observers legitimately questioning whether Ukrainian farmers will be able to harvest all, or even most, of the planted area. UkrAgroConsult, one of Ukraine's leading commodity analysts, forecasts that farmers will be able to harvest only 1.5 million hectares of corn--roughly 60 percent of the planted area --and estimates output at 4.25 million tons. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture recently increased its production estimate from 7 to 8 million tons, following reports of outstanding early yields. As of mid-October, with harvest 27 percent complete, average yield was 3.84 tons per hectare, compared to 3.44 tons per hectare by the same date last year.

Jun 16 2004 | Sunflowerseed Production in Ukraine and Russia
The USDA estimates 2004/05 Russian sunflowerseed production at 4.2 million tons, against a record 4.85 million last year. Harvested area is estimated at 4.2 million hectares, down 13 percent from last year. Sunflowers were planted on a reported 4.5 million hectares; in a typical year, only 90 to 92 percent of sown area is harvested. The year-to-year reduction in area is attributed to intense competition from grains, as reported by the U.S. agricultural attache, and relatively low winterkill, which resulted in less reseeding with spring crops compared to last year. For Ukraine, 2004/05 sunflower area is estimated at 3.2 million hectares and production at 3.5 million tons, down 16 and 18 percent, respectively, from last years record levels. Cool weather in Ukraine during late May likely hampered early development of earlier-planted sunflowers, but is unlikely result in significant yield reduction. Soil-moisture conditions are generally favorable throughout the main sunflower regions in Ukraine and Russia.

May 25 2004 | Ukraine: Average Harvest Prospects For Winter Grains
Analysts from USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) traveled through southern and central Ukraine during April to examine winter grain conditions and to meet with farmers, local agricultural officials, and independent analysts to assess 2004/05 grain production prospects. Field observations and interviews confirmed reports of localized damage to winter grains in southern Ukraine caused by a brief cold-weather episode in early April, but overall losses, including the April damage, is estimated to be significantly below normal. Crop conditions as of late May are generally favorable, and yield prospects about average.

Dec 24 2003 | Ukraine: Winter Wheat Area Drops Nearly 20 Percent
According to data from the State Statistical Committee of Ukraine, sown winter grain area for 2004/05 fell 16 percent from last season to a reported 7.1 million hectares. Winter wheat (which typically comprises over 95 percent of total Ukraine wheat area) was planted on 5.5 million hectares, down 18 percent from last year. Following September dryness which delayed planting and hampered emergence in some areas, rainfall in early October replenished surface moisture for winter grains, and current crop conditions are generally favorable.

May 23 2003 | Ukraine: Extensive Damage to Winter Wheat
Analysts from USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service traveled through southern and central Ukraine during late April to examine winter grain conditions and to meet with farmers, local agricultural officials, and independent analysts to assess 2003/04 grain production prospects. Field observations and interviews confirmed reports of remarkably high levels of damage to winter grains caused by low December temperatures and persistent ice crusting during February and March. According to the State Statistical Committee of Ukraine, 59 percent of the winter grains, including an estimated 55 percent of the countrys winter wheat, and over 90 percent of the winter barley, were destroyed by inclement weather.

Apr 15 2003 | Ukraine: Delayed Spring Hampers Wheat Development
Persistent, unseasonably cold weather in Ukraine and southern Russia has delayed the resumption of spring growth for winter grains. As of April 1, winter grains have likely broken dormancy only in western and southern Ukraine, and in southern Russia. By the same time last year, winter crop development was unusually accelerated due largely to warm February weather. Satellite imagery illustrates the sharp contrast between last year's early spring crop conditions and this year. By early April, patchy snow cover still remained in parts of southern Ukraine, while by the same time last year snow had completely disappeared from the main winter grain region and winter crops had resumed vegetative growth. Eastern Ukraine and southern Russia saw a brief spike in temperatures on April 8, with maximum temperatures as high as 25° Celsius at some locations, then dropping by the next day to only about 7 degrees.

Mar 18 2003 | Ukraine: Winter Wheat Situation
The Ukrainian Ministry of Statistics reports that farms planted 8.0 million hectares of winter grains for harvest in 2003 (compared to 8.7 million the previous season), including 6.7 (7.2) million wheat, 0.6 (0.8) million rye, and 0.7 (0.6) million barley. Several episodes of bitterly cold weather from November through January likely resulted in considerable damage to winter crops. Conditions were most severe, in terms of potential crop damage, in southern Ukraine, where about 40 percent of the country's winter wheat and almost all of the winter barley are grown. The continuing cold weather will likely delay both the resumption of vegetative growth of winter grains and the start of the spring sowing campaign. Initial USDA forecasts of 2003/04 production will be released on May 12, 2003.

Nov 12 2002 | Ukraine Winter Grains in Excellent Condition
Early prospects for Ukraine winter grains are good. Sown area will approach last season's 8.6 million hectares, according to the U.S. agricultural attaché in Kiev, and establishment conditions have been outstanding. Planting was 95 percent complete as of October 21, according to data from commodity-analysis group APK-Inform cited by the OsterDowJones news service; winter grains had been sown on 8.3 million hectares (compared to 8.5 million by the same date last year), including 6.8 (6.9) million of winter wheat. According the the Ministry of Agriculture, total sown area for 2002/03 winter grains was 8.6 million hectares, including 7.2 million of winter wheat.

Oct 21 2002 | Ukraine: Good Conditions for Winter Wheat
Conditions are favorable for the newly-emerging winter wheat crop in Ukraine. The fall sowing campaign is about 90 percent complete. According to Ministry of Agriculture data reported by the Reuters news agency, winter wheat had been sown on 6.45 million hectares by about October 9, compared to 6.51 million by the same date last year and against a target of 7.12 million. Rainfall in late September replenished soil moisture for Ukraine winter wheat. Moisture conditions are favorable throughout the country and considerably better than last fall, when drought hampered emergence and establishment of winter grains in southern and eastern Ukraine.

Sep 18 2002 | Ukraine Harvests Second Consecutive Bumper Crop
USDA estimates 2002/03 Ukrainian wheat production at 21.0 million tons, nearly matching last year's 21.3 million, which was the highest wheat harvest since 1993/94. Barley output is estimated at 10.5 million tons, up slightly from 10.2 million in 2001/02 and the highest level since 14.5 million in 1994/95. Total grain production is estimated at 38.1 million tons, against last year's 39.6 million. Wheat area for 2002/03 is estimated at 6.8 million hectares (6.9 million last year), barley area at 4.3 (3.9) million, and total grain area at 14.7 (15.0) million. Ukraine's record wheat production occurred in 1990/91, when 30.4 million tons were harvested from 7.6 million hectares, with a yield of 4.01 tons per hectare.

Jan 7 2002 | Snow Protects Ukraine Winter Wheat from Frigid Weather
Ukraine winter wheat emerged largely undamaged from the latest episode of cold weather. Minimum temperatures dropped as low as -20 degrees Celsius throughout the country's prime winter wheat zone during the third week of December, but adequate snow cover reduced the likelihood of damage to the crop. Temperatures were lowest in eastern Ukraine, where the extreme minimum temperature approached -30 degrees. The weather was milder -- but still cold -- in northern, western, and southern Ukraine. In Krasnodar, one of Russia's prime winter grain regions, temperatures seldom dropped below -10 degrees and there was no threat of damage.

Dec 11 2001 | Ukraine and Russia: Winter Grains in Good Condition Despite Cold Snap
Minimum temperatures approached minus 20 degrees Celsius for several consecutive days in key winter wheat areas of Ukraine, but protective snow cover prevented significant damage to crops. Only in parts of southeastern Ukraine, where overnight lows repeatedly fell to minus 15 degrees or lower and snow cover was patchy, were winter grains threatened by the cold. Crops in Russia's winter wheat zone escaped damage. Temperatures in the Southern District remained above minus 10 degrees, and snow protected winter grains from colder weather in the Volga Valley.

Oct 12 2001 | Increasing Dryness for Winter Grains in Ukraine and Russia
Recent dryness has reduced surface soil moisture in Russia's Southern District (the country's key winter wheat region), but adequate moisture is available for winter-crop germination. In south-Central Ukraine, however, moisture levels are unfavorably low, and the dry zone has expanded since October 1. The sowing of Ukraine's 2002/03 winter grain crop is virtually complete, according to government sources cited by the Reuters news agency. Planting data indicate a drop in sown winter wheat area from 7.1 million hectares last year (the 2001/02 crop) to roughly 5.8 million for 2002/03. Russian farms, meanwhile, had sown 13.7 million hectares of 2002/03 winter grains as of October 1, compared to 11.6 million by the same date last year, according to Ministry of Agriculture data reported by the Reuters news service. Russian agricultural officials aim to increase 2002/03 winter grain area by 15 percent over last year's reported 14.7 million hectares. According to the U.S. agricultural attaché in Moscow, however, farms are unlikely to achieve this target due to falling prices for wheat and large carry-over stocks following this year's bumper harvest.

Aug 31 2001 | Ukraine: Harvest Reports Indicate Bumper Crop
Ukraine's 2001/02 grain harvest is on track to surpass last year's output by as much as 50 percent despite heavy June rainfall which reportedly destroyed 20 percent of crops in western and central Ukraine and a July drought which will likely reduce corn production by an estimated 25 percent. The harvest of "early" grains -- wheat, barley, rye, oats, and pulses -- is virtually complete, and Ministry of Agriculture harvest reports cite total grain yield of 2.93 tons per hectare, the highest since 1994 and nearly 50 percent higher than last year. The harvest of buckwheat and millet (which comprise only about 6 percent of total grain area) is underway, and corn harvest will begin in September.

Aug 10 2001 | Ukraine: Dry July Speeds Wheat Harvest But Hampers Corn Output
The weather in Ukraine has been favorable for winter wheat this season, but less than ideal for summer crops. July saw excessively hot conditions with below-normal precipitation in southern and eastern Ukraine, the country's key corn-production region. Maximum temperatures repeatedly approached 35 degrees Celsius throughout July. This likely resulted in significant stress to the corn crop, which was progressing through reproductive stage and vulnerable to high temperatures. The preceding three months were unusually wet and cool, and not conducive to the establishment of summer crops (chiefly corn, sunflowers, and sugar beets). As a result of the generally unfavorable weather, estimated Ukraine corn production for 2001/02 has been reduced from 3.3 to 2.8 million tons, against 3.8 million last year. Conditions have been similar in Russia's corn and sunflower region.

Jul 19 2001 | Ukraine: Yield Potential High for 2001/02 Grains
The USDA estimates Ukraine total grain production [link to AYP table] for 2001/02 at 32.8 million tons, up from 24.5 million last year. Wheat production is estimated at 19.0 million tons, against last years pathetic 10.2 million, and barley output at 6.5 million tons, down slightly from 6.9 million in 2000/01. Corn production is forecast at 3.3 million tons, down 0.5 million from last year. The weather in Ukraine has been nearly as wet as during the soggy 1997 growing season, when winter wheat yield climbed to the highest level in the past five years. [insert precip graphs] The abundant precipitation will likely boost yield in most areas of the country, although heavy rainstorms and hail reportedly destroyed 20 percent of the grain crop in parts of western Ukraine and officials warn of an overall decrease in wheat and barley quality because of the wet June conditions. Harvest of winter grains is underway in the southern oblasts with preliminary yields up substantially from last year.

Jun 18 2001 | Crop Assessment Travel to Ukraine and Russia, May 26 - June 10, 2001
Analysts from USDA/FAS traveled to Ukraine and Moscow to assess 2001/02 grain harvest prospects for both countries and examine the impact of the recent restructuring of Ukraines agricultural sector. The team met with local and republic-level agricultural officials, independent analysts, and private farmers. Interviews and observations indicated that Ukraine grain production will rebound sharply from last years disappointing level and that restructuring, which involved the dissolution of State and collective farms and the establishment of private agricultural associations, could have a significant beneficial impact on Ukraines agricultural sector by introducing the element of fiscal responsibility. Russia is on course for a second consecutive year of above-average grain yield.

Jun 18 2001 | UKRAINE: SUBSTANTIAL REBOUND FOR 2001/02 GRAIN YIELD
Analysts from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service traveled in Ukraine during the last week of May in order to assess harvest prospects. The team conducted farm visits and met with agricultural officials and independent observers. Field travel in southern Ukraine verified analysis of satellite imagery indicating higher sown area and greatly improved winter crop conditions for 2001/02 compared to the previous season. (See trip report. and current grain-production estimates.)

May 15 2001 | UKRAINE POISED FOR REBOUND IN GRAIN PRODUCTION
A 35-percent jump in wheat area and a likely increase in yield will significantly boost Ukraine grain production for 2001/02. Wheat production is forecast at 16.0 million tons, up from 10.2 million last year. Projected wheat area is the highest in ten years -- 7.0 million hectares -- because of higher sown area and relatively low winterkill. Barley production is projected at 6.0 million tons, down from 0.9 million from last year due chiefly to a drop in sown area from 3.7 to an forecast 3.2 million hectares. Barley area is linked to some degree to wheat area: in years of high winterkill, spring barley is typically used to re-seed fields that suffered extensive damage to winter wheat. Corn production is projected at 2.8 million tons, down from 3.8 million last year, with forecast area down 0.3 million hectares to 1.0 million.

Jun 28 2000 | LOW YIELD POTENTIAL IN CENTRAL UKRAINE DESPITE NORMAL WEATHER
Kirovohrad oblast, in central Ukraine, escaped the severe drought that prevailed in Odessa and other southern oblasts this spring. Precipitation in Kirovohrad between April 1 and June 20 was near normal, but not abundant, and temperatures were not unusually high. Despite marginally good weather, however, Landsat satellite imagery indicates that winter wheat is in poor shape, marked by thin stands and relatively little increase in vigor (i.e., little or no increase in red color) between May 8 and June 9. Note the sharp contrast between crop conditions in Kirovohrad on May 8 with those in Krasnodar Kray, in southern Russia, on April 28. Despite the earlier calendar date of the Krasnodar scene, the winter grains would have been at approximately the same stage of crop development: two to three weeks prior to flowering. Vegetative indices derived from NOAA/AVHRR imagery from the first half of June indicate that overall crop conditions in Ukraine, particularly in the south and east, are worse than last year.

Jun 26 2000 | PROSPECTS DIM FOR WINTER WHEAT IN UKRAINE AND MOLDOVA
The dryness that prevailed throughout Moldova and southern Ukraine during April and May (see June 9 update) has continued through most of June, essentially eliminating the chance of recovery for the 2000/01 winter wheat crop in these regions. Precipitation has been persistently low since April in Moldova, and in the prime wheat-growing regions of southern and eastern Ukraine. In north-central and western Ukraine -- areas of less intensive winter-wheat production -- the weather has been generally favorable. Vegetative indices derived from NOAA/AVHRR satellite imagery during the first half of June indicate that crop conditions in Ukraine are worse than for the same period last year, when Ukrainian winter-wheat yield fell to the lowest level in twenty-five years. (The location of Moldova has been indicated on the NDVI map; Ukraine lies directly to the east and north.) The Moldovan wheat crop also has been scorched: according to a U.S. agricultural attache report, production is forecast to fall to 500,000 tons from 875,000 tons last year. Emergence and establishment of the corn and sunflowerseed crops in Ukraine and Moldova likely has been affected also; in Ukraine, corn and sunflowers are grown predominantly in the south and east, the areas which have been hardest hit by the dryness.

Jun 9 2000 | DRYNESS IN MOLDOVA AND SOUTHERN UKRAINE HITS WINTER WHEAT
Persistent dryness prevailed in Moldova and southern Ukraine during April and May, reducing yield potential for winter wheat. The threat to winter crops would likely be greater had it not been for the abundant precipitation that the region received during the winter, which boosted soil-moisture reserves. Similar weather patterns in previous years have resulted in significantly reduced -- but not disastrous -- winter-grain output. If the dryness continues, it could have a substantial negative impact also on the production of corn, Moldova's chief grain crop.

Jun 9 2000 | DRYNESS IN MOLDOVA AND SOUTHERN UKRAINE HITS WINTER WHEAT
Persistent dryness prevailed in Moldova and southern Ukraine during April and May, reducing yield potential for winter wheat. The threat to winter crops would likely be greater had it not been for the abundant precipitation that the region received during the winter, which boosted soil-moisture reserves. Similar weather patterns in previous years have resulted in significantly reduced -- but not disastrous -- winter-grain output. If the dryness continues, it could have a substantial negative impact also on the production of corn, Moldova's chief grain crop.

Mar 29 2000 | UKRAINE: LINGERING INPUT CONSTRAINTS WILL HAMPER 2000/01GRAIN OUTPUT
According to a report from the U.S. agricultural office in Kiev, a continuing lack of fuel, fertilizer, and plant-protection chemicals will prevent a significant rebound in grain production from last year, when output fell to a 35-year low of 24.6 million tons. Furthermore, farms were unable to reach the 2000/01 winter-sowing target of 8.1 million hectares, due in part to excessively dry conditions during the fall planting season, and sown area dropped 0.2 million hectares from last year to 7.4 million (including 6.4 million wheat). Although winter-crop conditions improved over the course of the winter, benefiting from abundant precipitation and relatively mild weather, Ukrainian agricultural officials have stated that roughly 1.5 million hectares of winter crops will need to be resown. Typically, spring barley is planted to replace winter grains that fail to survive the winter. Because of severely limited fuel supplies, however, it is unlikely that farms will be able to plant enough spring barley to compensate for the winterkill, and the U.S. agricultural office forecasts that barley area is likely to total 3.4-3.6 million hectares, roughly matching last year's 3.5 million.

Dec 13 1999 | UKRAINE WINTER WHEAT UNPROTECTED AS SNOW COVER RETREATS
A substantial portion of Ukraine winter-wheat area lost its snow cover following a week of unseasonably mild weather throughout most of the FSU winter-grain region. Winter grains in Ukraine and Russia's North Caucasus region have suffered little or no cold-weather damage so far this winter, but an episode of frigid weather in late November and early December may have resulted in some damage to winter grains farther north, in Russia's Central Black Earth region and the central Volga Valley. Although one Russian press report indicated that 20 percent of Russian winter-grain plantings were ruined during the cold spell, this degree of damage seems unlikely given the adequate protective snow cover.

Nov 17 1999 | DROUGHT INTENSIFIES IN SOUTH-CENTRAL UKRAINE
Dryness prevailed in southern Ukraine and Moldova during the first half of November, resulting in continued unfavorable conditions for winter-crop germination and establishment as of November 15. Meanwhile, winter grains in Russia's prime winter-wheat region are enjoying relatively good conditions following mid-October rainfall that replenished soil moisture reserves and reversed early October dryness.

Nov 17 1999 | DROUGHT INTENSIFIES IN SOUTH-CENTRAL UKRAINE
Dryness prevailed in southern Ukraine and Moldova during the first half of November, resulting in continued unfavorable conditions for winter-crop germination and establishment as of November 15. Meanwhile, winter grains in Russia's prime winter-wheat region are enjoying relatively good conditions following mid-October rainfall that replenished soil moisture reserves and reversed early October dryness.


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