The autumn planting of winter crops in 2022 and the beginning of spring planting give grounds for the first cautious forecasts regarding the harvest of 2023, reported the press service of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine on March 21.
"The projected area of grain and industrial crops for the 2023 harvest in the territory controlled by Ukraine is 19.3 mln ha, which is actually comparable to the figure of the previous season (19.8 mln ha). At the same time, the area of planted winter crops for the 2023 harvest was 1 mln ha less than in the previous season, while in spring it is expected to be 556 thsd ha more," the message states.
Total planting areas of grain and pulses in the current year the ministry forecasts at the level of 10.24 mln ha (-1.409 mln ha year-on-year), including winter wheat – 4.166 mln ha (-834 thsd ha), spring wheat – 285 thsd ha (+67 thsd ha), winter barley – 536 thsd ha (-255 thsd ha), spring barley – 1.041 mln ha (+111 thsd ha), corn - 3.618 mln ha (-451 thsd ha).
At the same time, the area planted under the main oilseeds is to increase: sunflower - 5.641 mln ha (+476 thsd ha), rapeseed - 1.374 mln ha (+110 thsd ha), soybean - 1.841 mln ha (+334 thsd ha).
It is also expected that the acreage under sugar beet to increase to 220 thsd ha against 180 thsd ha last season.
A decrease in grain acreage, along with a projected decrease in average yield, caused by rising input prices, will affect harvest volumes. Thus, the total harvest of grains and pulses in 2023 may amount to 44.3 mln tonnes, compared to 53.1 mln tonnes last year. In particular, the wheat harvest is expected at 16.6 mln tonnes (20.5 mln tonnes in 2022), barley - 4.8 mln tonnes (5.6 mln tonnes), corn - 21.7 mln tonnes (25.6 mln tonnes).
At the same time, the production of oilseeds is expected to increase to 19.2 mln tonnes against 18.2 mln tonnes last year. In particular, the sunflowerseeds harvest is forecasted at 11.5 mln tonnes (11.1 mln tonnes), rapeseed - 3.8 mln tonnes (3.7 mln tonnes), soybeans - 3.9 mln tonnes (3.4 mln tonnes). Sugar beet production is also expected to increase - to 11.3 mln tonnes (9.7 mln tonnes).
"It should be noted that these forecasts regarding production indicators are preliminary and will be adjusted during the year depending on circumstances, especially weather conditions," the ministry emphasized.