9 Jul 2019 13:56

Gross grain harvest in Russia in 2019 could be 2%-5% higher than last year - Hydrometeorological Center

MOSCOW. July 9 (Interfax) - Russia's grain harvest in 2019 is expected to be bigger than last year's, Hydrometeorological Center head Roman Vilfand said.

"The gross grain and grain legume harvest this year is forecast to be 2%-5% bigger than last," he said.

He said last year's harvest had been good, but fell short of the record set in 2017.

He said the key factors that had influenced the agrometeorological forecasts were a mild spring, a considerable amount of moisture left from the winter in the topsoil, the hot and fairly dry June in the growing regions and the rainy end to that month.

"The situation with buckwheat is complicated. It was sown very late southwestern Siberia and the Altai territory as the conditions were not good. It will be possible to give a forecast in roughly a month, but it is very likely that the buckwheat harvest will be lower than last year," Vilfand said.

Russia is the world's fifth biggest buckwheat producer. Nearly half of the country's buckwheat area is located the Altai territory.

The Russian Agriculture Ministry is forecasting a grain harvest of 118 million tonnes in 2019. The harvest was 113.3 million tonnes in 2018.