Ukraine to plant more cereals, less corn, sunseed in 2022

Emphasis is being put on summer-harvested spring crops
calendar icon 11 March 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

Ukraine is likely to reduce the area sown to sunseed, rapeseed and corn in 2022 and replace it with cereals - buckwheat, oats, millet, its agriculture producers' union said on Friday, following Russia's invasion of the country, reported Reuters.

Ukraine is a major global producer and exporter of grain and vegetable oils but officials and farmers expect a decline in the 2022 harvest and exports due to the invasion.

"The emphasis will be on spring crops that will be harvested in the summer, because we do not know what the situation will be (going forward)," Denys Marchuk, deputy head of the Ukrainian Agrarian Council, told local television.

"For the full nutrition of its population and the armed forces, more emphasis will be placed on buckwheat, peas, those types of crops that will make it possible to harvest so that Ukraine is fully provided with food," he said.

Ukraine traditionally starts spring field works in late February or in March. Farmers say they will start sowing in safe areas as soon as they can.

Deputy agriculture minister Taras Vysotskiy said a war-induced shortage of fuel would be the main problem for farmers this spring as they had enough seed to proceed with spring sowing.

Ukraine has already suspended exports of rye, oats, millet, buckwheat, salt, sugar, meat and livestock in the face of the invasion. It has also introduced licenses for wheat, corn and sunnflower oil exports.

Ukraine, the world's largest exporter of sunflower oil, forecast before the invasion that it could export more than 60 million tonnes of grain, including 33 million tonnes of corn and 23 million tonnes of wheat, in the 2021/22 July-June season.

The agriculture ministry said Ukraine exported 43 million tonnes of various grains in the 2021/22 season as of 23 February, the day before Russia launched its assault on its neighbour.

Ukraine increased its grain production by 32% in 2021 to 85.7 million tonnes.

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