The grain crop in the Rostov region of Russia, the world’s third biggest wheat producer, may be as much as 30 percent smaller than a year ago, the area’s Agriculture Minister Vyacheslav Vasilenko said, citing farmers.
Last year, Rostov was Russia’s third biggest by grain crop with 7.7 million metric tons harvested, or 8.2 percent of the country’s total crop, according to state statistics data. The region won’t be able to harvest as much as in 2011, Vasilenko said, according to a ministry statement e-mailed today. The minister didn’t provide a 2012 estimate.
“I travel in the districts and speak to heads of farms,” he said in the statement. “They say that the crop will be about 25 to 30 percent smaller than last year.”
There is a state of emergency in five of Rostov’s 43 districts because of drought, which started in mid-April, and temperatures, which have reached as high as 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) to 60 degrees Celsius on the soil, according to the statement.
Grains have been lost on 83,600 hectares (206,575 acres), or 2.8 percent of the total sown area in the region, according to the ministry. That includes 60,800 hectares, or 4 percent, of the winter crops, and 22,800 hectares, or 2.5 percent, of spring crops, it said.
Rostov farmers have sown 913,000 hectares, or about 97 percent of the targeted area, with spring grains as of today, the ministry said in the statement.
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