Russian winter cereal planting and harvesting stalls on unfavorable weather

29 Nov 2022 | Yana Sukharska

Russian winter cereal planting has stalled due to unfavorable weather conditions, with 17.6 million hectares planted as of November 28, a regular update from the agriculture ministry showed Tuesday.

While the ministry does not provide a forecast of the planned planted area, a statement from the Russian Grain Union provided additional insight, marking it at 17.6 million hectares, which implies that the sowing is completed.

However, harvest work has still not been finished in some of the fields that were expected to be used for winter sowing.

By comparison, last year 18.3 million ha had been planted at the same time.

The area under winter crops decreased mainly in the central region due to adverse weather conditions.

However, local analysts are positive about the first prospects for the future harvest, despite a significant shortage of wheat expected in the central region.

High moisture reserves and good crop condition in almost all winter wheat-producing regions suggest a gross wheat harvest in 2023 at the level of 83.1 million mt.

"If the area of losses is low in winter and spring, production may reach up even to 87 million mt," local analysts Rusagrotrans say.


Late crop harvesting was also slow due to weather conditions – it snowed almost everywhere except the South, where the crop has already been harvested.

Additional harvesting of sunflower seeds and corn takes place in the spring, but in this case, the quality is likely to decrease.

Therefore, farmers are hoping for a forecast of cold sunny weather from this week, which will allow harvesting to resume.

As of November 28, the corn harvest increased by 4% over the week to 63%, with 10.59 million mt threshed from 1.8 million ha, while average yield figures were 6.4 % up year-on-year at 5.9 mt/ha.

The sunflower harvest progressed slowly increasing by one percentage point to 73.7%, with 13.4 million mt threshed from 7.39 million ha, while average yield figures were 12.8 % up year-on-year at 1.8 mt/ha.

Soybean harvesting progressed also by one percentage point and was completed on 92.1% of the sown area, with 6 million mt in the bins, average yield also stands at 14.5% above the previous year's figures and amounted to 1.9 mt/ha.