Farmers of southern Ukrainian regions have started spring grain sowing, seeding the first 600 hectares, the agriculture ministry said on Thursday, The Times of India reported.
Farmers plan to sow a total of 7.2 million hectares of spring grains this year, including 2.4 million hectares of early spring grains – barley, spring wheat, oats and peas, according to The Times of India.
Ukraine, the world`s third-largest grain exporter, said the area under spring and winter grains would total 14.4 million hectares this year.
About 7 million hectares of spring grains were sown last year, starting on Feb. 24 thanks to favorable weather. The country`s 2016 grains harvest totaled a record 66 million tonnes, including 28 million tonnes of maize and 26 million tonnes of wheat.
Traders have said that this year`s wheat harvest could be lower because of a rise in winter losses and smaller yields.
”We see the harvest (of wheat) at about 22 million tonnes. Most of my colleagues see the harvest at between 21 million tonnes and 25 million tonnes. That is less than in 2016,” one trader said.
He added that the Ukrainian maize harvest could total 26 million tonnes this year, against 28 million tonnes in 2016.
The ministry has said that grain exports could reach 41 million tonnes in the current 2016/17 season, which runs from July to June.
Ukraine has exported about 29 million tonnes of grain so far this season.