Prospects of winter grain production volumes in 2011 in Ukraine




From year to year, production of sufficient volumes of grain commodities for covering of all requirements of the Ukrainian population assumes its growing applicability. At the same time, winter grains receive the top-priority role in the process as the basis of plant growing agrarian production, because the level of development of the industry became one of the most important indices of the economic activity in Ukraine.

During recent years Ukraine produced various volumes of winter grain harvests, due to considerable scaling of the sowing areas and grain yield indices.

According to the statistics data of day-to-day reporting of all categories of agricultural enterprises, Ukraine sowed winter crops for the harvest-2011 throughout 8086.4 thsd ha, including: wheat and triticale – 6548.5 thsd ha, rye – 287.8 thsd ha and barley – 1246.2 thsd ha. In the steppe zone of Ukraine, which is the main grain sowing region of the country (9 oblasts), the areas totaled: 3593.1; 25.9 and 1065.5 thsd ha respectively.

That is why on the basis of the available data about the current morphological-physiological condition of the winter plants, the weather condition of autumn-winter period, in the below stated material we will try to analyze the situation with grains behavior in winter, to forecast the plants condition during the process of vegetation renew, and also the peculiarities of formation by plants of elements of the harvest structure, productivity and grains production volumes.

According to the analysis of the weather conditions of December and January, winter grains wintering was under the favorable conditions. Reduction of the minimal air temperatures for short term till -14-17ºС, which was faced in the beginning and at the end of January, had no negative impact on the conditions of the plants wintering, due to the snow cover of the height 7-19 cm. The soil temperature at the depth of the tillering node of winter cereal crops did not fall below -4.5-6º C.

However, during the first decade of February, the most territory of Ukraine faced the anticyclone, which caused the sharp air heating and the active melting of snow. Due to the fact, winter grains sowings faced the essential snow cover decline.

In total, the alternating increase and decrease of the temperature regime, which is observed in the winter period, usually reduces the freezing resistance of winter grains plants, especially under the conditions of the full or particle snow cover absence. The feature of the present winter is non-deep soil frost penetration, i.e. melt-water will not hold on the surface of soil, causing the minimum possible damage.

According to the operative data, received during the survey of winter grains plants, 93.5% of them faced good and satisfactory condition, and only 6.5% - week and thinned sowings, throughout 7560.8 and 725.6 thsd ha, respectively.

While forecasting the further winter grains sowings wintering, we should note that under the unfavorable conditions, which could be caused by the low temperatures this year, the sowings of weak adapted grades to the certain soil-climatic conditions are the most vulnerable ones, the sowings of rather late terms of planting and with shallow seeding into the soil also have the threat. These areas are widespread within the territory of Ukraine, especially in grain sowing regions.

We should also take into attention the contamination level of sowings by winter and wintering weeds, especially on the fields where the sowing campaign was realized almost till September 25th.

Therefore, after the resumption of the spring growing activity, first of all it is necessary to make an inventory and survey of winter wheat crops and establish the possible level of damage to the plants.

Upon resumption of the spring vegetation of winter wheat, it is important to create favorable conditions for  plant nutrition, especially using of nitrogen fertilizers application before the start of their transition to the  fourth stage of organogenesis.

Taking into account the possibility of partial confluence of unfavorable conditions for the further vegetation winter grains, and a significant rise in the cost of chemicals, which will prevent the introduction of the required volumes of fertilizers and pesticides, it is useful to adjust the projected performance of winter crops in Ukraine, bringing it to the level of 3.3-5 t/ha. Such yield indices may provide winter grain production within the level of 23-26 mln tonnes.

Thus, taking into account the current and estimated condition of winter crops and weather conditions of the winter period, Ukrainian grain producers have all the prerequisites for obtaining high yields of winter grains.

Anatoliy Girka,

analyst of АPК-Inform Agency