This week, despite the hostilities, Ukraine has started the second wartime sowing campaign, according to a Facebook post by Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.
"We have started the second wartime sowing campaign. The first 16,000 hectares (nearly 62 square miles) were sown with grain crops and legumes. Also this week, Ukraine and Poland have simplified the crossing of the border for agricultural products. We’re working on the prolongation of the Grain Initiative and the expansion of transhipment in the Danube ports," he noted.
Experts of the Ukrainian Agri Council expect the country’s farmers to face similar problems this spring:
- expensive fertilizers and the lack of money to buy them: deficiency in working capital was caused by the failure to sell the harvest, as some farms still store grain harvested in 2021;
- low prices for agricultural products and logistics problems;
- mass blocking of tax invoices.
There’s a real threat that farmers will choose oilseeds and other crops that can be sold in Ukraine over grain crops in 2023.
The Ukrainian Grain Association estimated this year’s sown area to shrink by about 40%, which would cause a nearly two-fold decrease in grain yield.