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Share of Russia's winter grain sowings in poor condition at 7-year high

Reuters, 02.12.20

MOSCOW, Dec 1 (Reuters) - About 22% of Russian winter grain sowings are currently in a poor condition, a state weather forecaster said on Tuesday, signalling higher risks for the 2021 grain crop.

Farmers in Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters, sowed their winter grains for next year's crop during dry weather this autumn, mainly in southern regions.

"We see that the share of winter grain sowings in bad condition is the highest since 2013," Dmitry Rylko, the head of the IKAR agriculture consultancy, told Reuters.

"However, the share of sowings in good condition is not at lowest since 2013. Maybe it is not a bad sign for the future crop," he added.

About 78% of the sowings are in a good or satisfactory condition, the weather forecaster said.

Sovecon, another agriculture consultancy in Moscow, expects the condition of part of the sowings to improve due to rain and warm weather, its head, Andrey Sizov said. He expects about 9% of the sowings to be lost after winter, compared with 5% in recent years.

Sovecon expects Russia to harvest between 79.2 and 82.8 million tonnes of wheat in 2021 compared with 85.3 million tonnes in 2020. IKAR sees the harvest at 78 million tonnes.

Farmers sowed winter grains on 100.6% of the originally planned area, or 19.3 million hectares, up from 18.2 million hectares in 2019.

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