Will Ukrainian field “queen” come out of stress?




Current year is characterized by rather various forecasts of analysts concerning the production of corn in Ukraine in 2020/21 MY. The estimations of the experts vary within 32 to 39 mln tonnes. The analysts justify the anticipations of the record crop by the increase of the sowing areas to 5.4 mln ha and the improvement of the weather conditions in the end of May – beginning of June. However, taking into account the agritechnical peculiarities of corn production, it is quite early to give any precise forecasts. Such opinion Vladislav Cherchel, the director of GU Institute of grain crops NAAS of Ukraine gave to APK-Inform Agency.


“Somehow everyone optimistically claim that the lack of wheat crop this year, by 10-20% a year according to different forecasts, will be compensated by corn and Ukraine will harvest record crop. I am not as optimistic, and taking into the weather conditions during the planting and emerging of corn I believe that we can receive the production at 30 mln tonnnes, but we will see in the end of June – beginning of July” – said the expert.

This opinion concerning the prospects of corn production in Ukraine V. Cherchel justified as follows: “Firstly, May was rather cold and this is a main period for crop germination. Our institute received the calls from some agriproducers concerning the absence of germination and they had to replant the corn. Mainly, those farmers had this problem, who planted old and low quality seeds”. Also the expert focused his attention on the influence of the unfavorable weather conditions in May on the corn crops. “The low air temperature resulted in the slower germination (3-4 weeks) and the slow developments of crops. Moreover, the crops were damaged by frosts which were observed until the end of May. In the central region the air temperature at night lowered to -2℃, and on the north of Ukraine even more, which means that the corn crops ended the spring period in stress” – explained the expert.

Currently there is another problem. The excessive rains in the end of May and the rise of air temperature in the beginning of June led to the active development of weeds. “We can hardly remember such “weeded” fields. The soil herbicides did not work well everywhere and there was no use to apply the insurance herbicides in such weather. After the warming the agrarians begin to apply herbicides on fields where the development stage allows. The additional treatments lead to the increase of production expenses of agrarians which makes the crops less profitable. And taking into account the features of this year the expenses in autumn can continue increasing. The slower development of the crops in spring can lead to the slower ripening and in autumn the crops can be wet during the harvest compared to the last 10-15 years, when the production humidity ranged within 14-20%” – said the expert.

He believes that the final economy of the corn production will be totally different. Thus the prices for corn will form under the influence of all the above factors. And owing to the forecasted increase of global corn production, the Ukrainian corn can be uncompetitive on the global market. “And whether the farmers want to invest in corn in a future is a big question. In general, I believe that 2020/21 MY will be rather difficult for farmers. That is why I will repeat that it is very difficult and early to make any precise forecasts of corn production” – said V. Cherchel.

Cherchel Vladislav Yurjevich,

the director of GU Institute of grain crops NAAS of Ukraine