Ukraine's spring crop planting covers 3 million hectares to date

21 Apr 2022 | Yana Sukharska

Ukraine’s spring sowing campaign continues to move forward steadily, with progress advancing by another 551,000 hectares, or 3 percentage points, between April 18-21, according to the latest update from the country's agriculture ministry.

As of April 21, more than 3 million hectares have been sown, amounting to round 21% of the forecast for spring crops - although the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine makes it difficult to forecast a total planted area. 

The exact figure is likely to be called in late May, when sowing finishes.

Today, in some parts of the territories liberated from occupation, work will also be needed to remove landmines from the fields, with regions around Chernihiv, Sumy, and parts of the Kharkiv and Kyiv regions likely to be affected.

Even in these regions, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy still expects that at least 60-70% of the area will be able to perform all spring field work on time, with the potential for more land to come into circulation once clearance is complete.

The most difficult situation is in the temporarily occupied regions and where active hostilities continue around Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and the Kherson regions.

Currently, the forecast for these states is less positive - sowing there can take place in a pessimistic scenario only on 30-40% of the likely planted area, according to an announcement from the First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, Taras Vysotsky in an update from the press service of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy.

In the rest of Ukraine, sowing is going according to plan.

In most cases, farmers purchased material resources in advance and, where there is no fighting or mines, farmers are actively going out into the fields to continue the sowing campaign.

Twice a week, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy collects forecast plans, captures the state of sowing and compares all data, monitoring the situation in real-time wherever possible.

"The recommendations given by the ministry to increase the area of food crops, such as buckwheat, millet, are being implemented by farmers. An effective dialogue has been built so far - we hope it will continue to be so,” Vysotsky said.

As of Thursday, spring wheat planting advanced by 6.5 percentage points to 85.6% complete on all plantings in 2021, reaching 164,400 hectares, versus 82% last year.

Spring barley planting progressed by 1.4 points to 802,200 hectares, or 60% of the planting area in 2021, versus 91% at the same point of last year.

The spring rapeseed sowing pace was still well ahead of last year’s pace - farmers have already planted 16,400 hectares, accounting for 49.4% of the anticipated area, while sowing had not yet started by the same date of 2021.

Sowing of oats has advanced 3 percentage points to bring the total to 71.6% complete on 127,400 hectares, against 86% at the same date last year.

Peas progressed by 1.1 points and had reached 107,200 hectares or 44.4% now planted, versus 86% complete at the same date last year.

Millet planting amounted to 4,800 ha compared with only 900 ha completed on the same date last year, with the figure corresponding to 4.8% of the area in 2021, that is used as a reference point.

Corn planting inched forward, with progress registered on 323,200 hectares or 5.9% of the planting area in 2021, up from 2% last week but against 7% last year.

Sunflower progressed by 4.3% and was complete on 896,000 hectares, or 13.8%, versus 18.5% last year.

Finally, soybeans planting had advanced by 1.6 percentage points to 62,000 hectares or 4.8% of the planting area in 2021, against 1.2% last year pace.