In Russia, the spring planting campaign is little by little gaining momentum. Thus there are topical questions arising — the readiness of agrarians for the planting campaign and the expected areas. Also, we would recall the features of the phitosanitary condition of the last crop.
Harvest-2018 — the phitosanitary condition
Before we speak off the plans for 2019, we would like to specify the main issues (pests and diseases) that agrarians faced in 2018 in order to minimize the same threats this year.
According to the poll conducted by APK-Inform Agency, the agrarians that specialize in the cultivation of winter wheat, barley and rapeseed, try to avoid infection of areas by pests and diseases before the planting campaign, thus they prefer to sow the treated seeds. At the same time, agrarians take the protection measures during the vegetation period at times when the problems with the planting works appear.
In order to provide the solid protection of the winter crops during the vegetation period, it is highly important for agrarians to provide the regular monitoring of the plantings in order to identify the harmful objects. The reason is that the threat of diseases, pests and weed inevitably remains in the soil long after the previous seasons.
During the analysis of the protection system of grains of the 2018 crop, it was found that the planted areas under wheat and barley were in general treated with insecticides and fungicides for 19% and 24% respectively. According to the estimation of APK-Inform analysts, nearly 40% of the total treated lands by such agents were protected from the mildew and sunn pest.
Speaking of winter rapeseed, the respondents of the poll had to carry out spot protective treatment because of the sharp climatic changes during the summer period in 2018. In general, the treatment was performed on 26% of the areas from diseases and on 15% from the pests. Herewith, 80% of the areas treated by insecticides were treated against pollen beetle. At the same time, the majority of the fungicide treatments was conducted against the Alternaria blight of rapeseed.
In terms of weeds, last year the third of the total areas under the main winter crops were treated with herbicides. As a rule, such treatment is included to the plan of operations of the majority of the farms as a preventive measure.
According to the agriproducers specializing in the cultivation of grains, the biggest threat for barley and wheat crops are such weeds as sow thistle, thistle and bedstraw. However, the binding separately by each of the named weeds was not massive and they spread not far then on the quarter of the general planted areas.
The producers of rapeseed called the thistle, oatgrass and bedstraw the most widespread weeds. Each of the weed was treated on the 11%, 10% and 10% of the areas correspondingly.
Level of the inventory supply (Data by theMinistry of Agriculture of Russia)
Fertilizers. According to the latest information of the agricultural governing boards of Russia, from January 1 to December 29 of 2018 the agriproducers bought 3.1 mln tonnes of the mineral fertilizers in active materials (+57.6 thsd tonnes of active minerals y-o-y).
Machines. By the end of December of 2018 the agriproducers had in stock 447.8 thsd of tractors, 125.3 thsd of harvesters and 17.4 thsd of forage harvesters.
During the harvesting campaign on 2018 the readiness of the agricultural machines in Russia totaled: tractors — 89.7% (88.9% y-o-y), harvesters — 93.8% (93.7%), and forage harvesters — 90.9% (90.9%).
Fuel and lubricants materials. In 2018, agrarians bought 4.1 mln tonnes of diesel and 692.0 thsd tonnes of petrol Au-92.
According to the Central Office of the Fuel and Energy Complex of the Ministry of Energy of Russia as of January 10 of 2019, he average wholesale price for diesel in summer period totaled 51377 RUR/t, for diesel in summer period — 53652 RUR/t, auto-petrol Au-92 — 49752 RUR/t. In comparison to the prices in 2017, the prices for summer diesel increased by 15.2%, winter diesel — 9.1%, and petrol — by 6.5%.
Planting campaign 2019
The planted areas under winter crops for the harvest-2019 reached the record 17.6 mln ha according to Ministry of Agriculture of Russia (17.1 mln ha in 2018). Wheat was the main crop in terms of winter crops planting, the share of which reached 85% of the general winter crop areas. It should be noted that the main share of wheat production is formed at the expense of winter varieties. The condition of winter crop is not of great concern for now as 91.5% is in good and favourable condition. The further development of the crops will depend on the weather conditions.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the planting campaign of spring grains and pulses is planned to be provided throughout 30.3 mln ha. Taking into account the record pace of export and the favourable price conjuncture the areas under spring wheat are forecasted to increase to 12.4 mln ha (11.9 mln ha in 2018). It is expected that areas under spring barley will also increase slightly — to 7.9 mln ha, if there is going to be favourable weather conditions, the planting areas might exceed the forecasted level.
Speaking of corn, it should be noted that in 2018 the weather conditions during the planting campaign were not favourable, which effected the planted areas under the crop that totaled 2.5 mln ha, and in 2019 it is expected that the areas will increase to 2.7 mln ha.
As new information becomes available concerning the pace of the planting campaign, then the areas under the spring crops are going to be corrected. More detailed information about the plans for planting campaign of spring crops is provided below.
According to the estimation of APK-Inform Agency the production of cereals in 2019 can reach 124.6 mln tonnes (+10.1% compared to 2018), including the production of wheat, that might increase to 79.4 mln tonnes (+10%), barley — to 18.9 mln tonnes (+11%), corn — to 12.6 mln tonnes (+10%).
Speaking of the planted areas under the three main oilseeds in Russia, our estimations in general are lower compared with previous year — 12.5 mln ha (-1.3% y-o-y), that can be the result of the reduction of the areas under sunflower seed to 7.9 mln ha (-3.8%).
At the same time, the increase of rapeseed and soybean exports since the beginning of 2018/19 MY to China can contribute the rise of the planting areas under these crops to 1.6 mln ha (+2.8% y-o-y) and 3.05 mln ha (+3.4%), respectively.
The planting campaign in 2019 will traditionally depend on the weather patterns that are more than unpredictable from year to year. And should agrarians provide the planting camapign within the optimal time frame remains to be seen.
Julia Krekhovich, Ksenia Verbitskaya, APK-Inform Agency