Winter planting campaign in a wartime




In Ukraine, the winter planting campaign for the harvest of 2023 is progressing. This planting campaign has become the most difficult and dangerous in the history of independent Ukraine. The military invasion of Russia disrupted the supply chains and pushed up the price of seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, fuel, as well as significantly deteriorated the farmers’ finances, because many of them either lost their crops due to the shelling of enterprises and the burning of fields, or was unable to sell crops due to smaller domestic demand and limited export. Today, certain parts of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv oblasts remain under occupation. All these factors will lead to a significant reduction of the winter planted area.

Taking into account the above, from the beginning of August to mid-September,.APK-Inform conducted a survey among Ukrainian farmers regarding their plans for winter planting for the harvest-2023, the results of which are presented in this material.

Plans for winter planting campaign for harvest-2023

In Ukraine, the share of the winter planted area was 32% in the total structure in 2019-2021, and it varied from 8.9 to 9.1 mln ha, of which the area under winter grains averaged 7.7 mln ha, under rapeseed – 1.2 mln ha. Over the past 4 years, the average share of winter wheat was 96% in the total wheat planted area, and the production of winter wheat accounted for 97% of its total production. For winter barley these ratios are 44% and 46% respectively, for winter rapeseed – 97 % and 97%. Ukrainian farmers planted 7.6 mln ha with winter grains for the harvest-2022, down by 4% y/y, and 1.4 mln ha with winter rapeseed, up by 40% y/y. Unfortunately, despite the fact that these crops were formed before the start of the war, military actions in Ukraine led to a significant reduction in the harvesting area under winter crops and, as a result, a decrease in grain production, which negatively affected the farmers’ finances.

Today, the winter planting campaign is actively progressing in most oblasts of Ukraine. According to the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, as of September 26, farmers planted 960.6 thsd ha with winter rapeseed (+2% y/y), 622.1 thsd ha with winter wheat (-68%), 64.5 thsd ha with winter barley (-49%). Unfortunately, this autumn, a significant reduction of planted area under winter wheat and barley is expected, as part of the land cannot be cultivated (certain territories of Kherson, Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, Sumy and Chernihiv oblasts), and some farmers do not have resources to plant. Therefore, at the start of the sowing campaign, in August-September, APK-Inform asked Ukrainian farmers about their plans for winter sowing for the harvest-2023 and found out what difficulties they have already faced or would face. Farmers of Vinnytsia, Volyn, Dnipropetrovsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kirovohrad, Lviv, Rivne, Khmelnytskyi and Chernivtsi oblasts, which can be characterized as relatively safe regions, took part in the survey.

At the time of the survey, 71% of farmers decided to plant winter crops, another 8% will plant, but have not yet decided which crops to cultivate, 11% of respondents have not yet made a final decision about winter planting campaign, and 10% of respondents will not plant this autumn, explaining their decision in most cases to the increase in the price of resources, problems with the sale of grain and low prices of grain and oilseeds on the market.