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Russia Reports Poor Harvest, Ukraine Sees Bumper Crop in '21
USAgNet - 01/12/2022

Droughts, death of winter crops and a shortage of migrant workers for seasonal field work hit Russia’s 2021 harvests, which was down to a three-year low, the Russian Ministry of Agriculture reports. By contrast, Ukraine had one of its best harvests ever.

Russia and Ukraine are vying with each other for the title of “world’s biggest grain exporter” and agriculture has become a major money spinner for both countries.

Russian farmers had taken in 120.7mn tonnes of grain at the end of 2021, which was 9.6% more than in 2020, according to RosStat statistics. But the grain harvest was at a 3-year low, less by almost 15mn tonnes from the previous year.

The wheat harvest fell too, by 12%, or 10mn tonnes, and amounted to 75.9mn tonnes, off from the Ministry of Agriculture’s start-of-season forecast of 81mn. The barley harvest fell by 14% to 18mn tonnes but the corn harvest was up by 6% more than a year earlier at 14.6mn tonnes.

“The decrease in the volume of cereals was due to the death of winter crops due to drought in many regions of the country,” analysts told the website.

The US Department of Agriculture predicted a Russian harvest of 85mn tonnes of wheat in Russia, but in August sharply lowered the estimate to 72.5mn tonnes due to bad weather hitting some large producing regions including Tatarstan, Bashkortostan and Orenburg. The yield of harvested wheat in the Central Federal District fell by 24% year on year and in the Volga Federal District by as much as 45%.

Falling crop harvests were experienced in 2021 by most of the largest exporting countries, including Canada, Brazil and the United States, where, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, wheat harvest were at their lowest levels in the past 19 years.

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