Over the past five years, sown areas of winter wheat doubled and winter sowing in Siberia approaching record at this year. By October 31, sowing of winter agricultural crops in Russia was carried out on 18 million hectares, which is 2.8% more than the projected area, follows from the operational data of the Ministry of Agriculture. In 2018, by this date, winter crops occupied 17.5 million ha. Even in mid-October, the dynamics of sowing operations lagged last year, but by the end of the month the campaign had reached a record pace, the SovEcon analytical center notes. According to him, the increase in the intensity of field work is associated with the establishment of dry weather, against which the southern regions significantly accelerated sowing.
As a result, in the Southern Federal District, winter grain crops occupy 6.6 million hectares, which is 5.5% higher than the planned value, a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture told Agroinvestor. In the Central District, sowing exceeded the plan by 3.9% and reaches 4 million ha, in the Volga – by 0.7% (4.6 million ha). In Siberia, winter sowing was carried out on 0.4 million hectares, exceeding the forecast by 4.7%, and in the northwestern regions sowing exceeded the plan by 28% and amounts to 0.1 million hectares, so winter sowing in Siberia approaching record at this year. By the end of October, sowing in the North Caucasus was completed at 2.2 million hectares, or 97% of the planned, in the Urals – at 0.06 million hectares (75% of the plan).
The excess over the previous year is also connected with the Rostov Region, which sowed 2.5 million hectares, which is 98 thousand hectares higher than last year, says SovEkon. The Orenburg Region has increased the same amount of crops, where the area of winter crops has grown to 0.8 million hectares. At the end of last week, the Krasnodar Territory announced the completion of sowing, where winter wheat and barley occupied more than 1.6 million hectares. As the head of the Kuban, Veniamin Kondratyev, told reporters, the sowing was carried out in optimal terms, more than 30 thousand units of agricultural machinery worked in the fields, including 6 thousand seeders and sowing complexes.
The main complex of field work in the Stavropol Territory has been completed, almost 2 million hectares are sown with winter crops in the region, including over 1.9 million hectares of grain, reports Stavropolskaya Pravda with reference to the Ministry of Agriculture of the region. This is almost at the level of last year. The sowing campaign is also nearing completion on the farms of the Volgograd region. The area sown with grain fields has already reached 1.54 million hectares, the press service of the regional administration said on Wednesday. In total, this year it is planned to occupy about 1.6 million ha in winter oblasts. In Adygea, 110.8 thousand ha were sown for the 2020 crop, with a plan of 109.4 thousand ha, of which about 90% is wheat and barley.
The autumn sowing campaign has not yet been completed, and the total area of winter crops may increase due to the North Caucasus and Southern Federal Districts, said Vladimir Petrichenko, general director of the ProZerno analytical company. “So, in the North Caucasus, 97% have been sown so far, and weather conditions in November, as a rule, there quite allow to carry out sowing work. In addition, it is likely that not yet final data are indicated for Crimea, where 87% of the planned area has been eliminated and, apparently, the sowing has not been completed either, ”Petrichenko told Agroinvestor.
By the end of November, when intermediate results of the autumn sowing season are usually summed up, the area of winter crops may increase by 100-200 thousand ha, Petrichenko estimates. “Thus, now we can say that the current result is the highest for at least the last 20 years,” he said. The previous maximum was recorded in 2009, when at the end of November winter crops occupied 17.96 million ha. Last year, this figure was 17.6 million ha.
The Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (IKAR) predicts that the total area will increase by 100-150 thousand hectares compared with the current 18 million hectares. “For winter wheat, we expect a total sowing area in the region of 16.3 million hectares – this is 350-400 thousand hectares more than last season. As a result, we can reach a record for the area of winter wheat, ”Oleg Sukhanov, head of the ICAR grain direction, told Agroinvestor. According to Petrichenko, the current result is quite expected, since interest in winter crops, especially winter wheat, has been growing all the past years – even in those regions where winter crops have not been sown before. “So, in Siberia, winter sowing has grown 1.5 times over the past five years: for the 2015 harvest it was 260 thousand ha, and now for the 2020 crop, crops have grown to 385 thousand ha,” Petrichenko emphasized and winter sowing in Siberia approaching record.
The current state of crops is currently assessed primarily as good and satisfactory, says Sukhanov. The conditions for sowing were normal in most regions, and in most of them the work was carried out at optimal or near optimal times. “In the beginning, there was a slight delay in the South due to arid conditions, but the pace was fairly quickly made up,” Sukhanov said. According to him, the first seedlings look good, and so far, IKAR has not recorded any significant negative factors.
However, regarding the prospects for the harvest 2020, it’s too early to talk about it, I am sure Petrichenko. “We need to wait at least the end of November, when winter crops will enter the winter and stop growing. So far, we can only say that in the Volga region – and this is more than a quarter of winter sowing – agricultural crops were sown earlier and at more optimal times than last year, and weather conditions suggest that the seedlings will be better. Also, in the Center and in the South, crops increased compared to last year and the forecast plan, and weather conditions were quite favorable, ”Petrichenko said. Separately, he noted an increase in the area of winter sowing in the Kaliningrad region to 107 thousand ha against 77 thousand ha a year earlier. And also winter sowing in Siberia approaching record.
Information provided by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation.