UKRAINIAN GROWERS have made a flying start by planting 41% of the 8.15m ha of winter crops forecast by the Ukrainian government.

Good autumn conditions, and better seed availability have helped, according to the Home-Grown Cereals Authority‘s Julian Bell.

“It is obviously good news for them, because they only have a short window to get crops established and get enough growth for plants to survive the winter.

“But what gets planted doesn‘t always get harvested,” he noted. In 2003 Ukraine lost over 5m ha of winter crops during an especially harsh winter.

Wheat plantings are on target to be up by 0.5m ha this year. “That could increase production by 1.5mt.

“There‘s a long way to go, but they are always a potential direct competitor for our feed wheat exports.”