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Expert: Grain harvest in Ukraine in 2012 could fall to 40 million tonnes

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July 9, 2012, 12:28 p.m. | Business — by Interfax-Ukraine

Ukraine this year started harvesting campaign earlier than traditional terms. Autumn droughts, severe winter frost and warm weather led to a fall in the grain yield.
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Ukraine this year could harvest 44 million tonnes of grain, although if weather worsens, the indicator will total 40 million tonnes, according to experts from the Ukrainian Agribusiness Club (UCAB).

"According to UCAB, today grain harvest is anticipated at 44 million tonnes. If the drought continues for another two or three weeks, the expected gross grain harvest could fall to 40 million tonnes," reads a report of the association issued on July 9, 2012.

The UCAB said that the first results of the harvesting campaign, which this year started two weeks earlier than usual, show a low yield of early crops. The association said that as of July 9, 2012, Ukraine threshed around 3.6-3.7 million hectares, with the average yield of early crops of 19-19.5 centners per hectare (28.4 centners per hectare in 2012).

UCAB specialists said that due to a shortage of moisture and high temperatures, early crops formed small ears.

As reported, Ukraine this year started harvesting campaign earlier than traditional terms. Autumn droughts, severe winter frost and warm weather led to a fall in the grain yield. At present, the situation on fields is worsening due to high temperatures and the absence of rain. According to the Ukrainian Weather Center, 50% of crops are suffering from drought now.

The Agricultural Policy and Food Ministry predicts that the grain harvest this year will be 45-47 million tonnes, compared to the record 56.7 million tonnes seen in 2011.

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