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Dry Weather May Affect Ukraine 2010 Grain Harvest

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Dry weather across Ukraine may affect the 2010 winter grain harvest but rain, expected later this month, could improve crops, analyst UkrAgroConsult said Oct. 6.

“Dry weather prevailed and rains were insignificant and local. The soil drought continued on most areas, making conditions for sowing and initial growth of winter crops is poor,” UkrAgroConsult said in a report.

“Similar weather conditions were registered in the fall of 2005 when a drought caused the unusually long sowing campaign. This resulted in loss of about 10 per cent of the grain areas.”

In 2008 the grain crop totalled a record 53.3 million tonnes but could fall to up to 45 million in 2009 due to lower grain yield.

UkrAgroConsult said farms had sown 4.8 million hectares to the 2010 winter grain harvest or about 62 per cent of the sowing forecast.

The consultancy said some regions had already missed the best sowing terms and winter crops, planted in October, would have not enough time to develop by the beginning of the winter.

Earlier a senior official said a possible fall in the 2010 grain production combined with a high pace of grain exports in the first half of the 2009/10 season could force the government to restrict exports in the second part of the season.

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