Weather conditions may lead to significant winter crop losses
Weather conditions at the end of summer and in fall were unfavorable for planting of winter crops, Head of Department of Plant Product Markets and Development of Seed Growing Vasiliy Soroka announced on October 23. In his words, "we haven't had such weather conditions leading to such lack of moisture since 1911". In many oblasts there were no rains from July to October. As a result the largest grain cultivating oblasts (Zaporizhzhya, Dnipropetrovsk (35 percent of areas), Kherson, Mykolayiv (40 percent of areas) and Kirovograd) appeared in the zone of "overcritical level of moisture supplies".
Areas under winter crops totaled 8.6 million hectares this year, which, according to Vasiliy Soroka, is more than in past 5 year's average (7.26 million hectares), but less than last year (8.9 million hectares). He also pointed out that planted 2 million hectares are areas, where crops didn't emerge.
Despite this, the Ministry of Agrarian Politics intends to struggle for fulfillment of "Grain" program, which envisages grain areas at the level of 15 million hectares. It is presupposed that losses of winter crops will be covered by expansion of spring crop areas.
In spite of pretty difficult situation, the Ministry still hopes that "winter crops will get better". It is possible if it is going to rain in droughty regions in the nearest days, after which temperature needs to warm up. But experts don't predict high possibility of such development of events.