(Updates with harvest forecast in third paragraph.)
Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Drought in Ukraine damaged about 33 percent of the country’s winter grains, according to UkrAgroConsult.
About 2.3 million hectares (5.7 million acres) of sprouted plants were in poor condition as of Jan. 12, Liza Malyshko, a grain analyst at the Kiev-based agricultural researcher, said today by phone. That compares with 6.6 percent on the same date a year earlier, she added.
Winter grains, mostly wheat, sprouted on 83.3 percent of the planted area, compared with almost 100 percent at the same point a year earlier, Malyshko said. Plants failed to sprout on 1.4 million hectares, she said. Winter grains have higher yields than spring ones.
The drought will probably lower the country’s grain harvest by more than 20 percent to 45 million metric tons in 2012 as the winter wheat harvest may shrink by more than 30 percent, UkrAgroConsult said in a research note Jan. 9. Ukraine’s farmers may have to replant as many as 3 million hectares of grain in the spring, Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk said last month, after the three-and-a-half month drought.
Winter crops in good condition covered 1.88 million hectares, or 26.7 percent of the sprouted area, compared with 56.2 percent last year, Malyshko said. Plants rated as satisfactory accounted for 39.9 percent of the area, or 2.79 million hectares, the researcher added.
Ukraine reaped a record 56.7 million ton grain harvest last year, the state statistics office said yesterday. The harvest helped to spur economic growth to 5.2 percent in 2011, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said today.
--With assistance from Daryna Krasnolutska in Kiev. Editors: John Deane, Alastair Reed
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