9 Jun 2010 14:06

Russian winter wheat harvest will be 3-6 mln tonnes larger than 2005-2009 avg

MOSCOW. June 9 (Interfax) - Russia's gross winter wheat harvest this year will be 3.2-6.2 million tonnes heavier than the 32.8 million-tonne average for the years 2005-2009, Roshydromet forecasts.

According to agrometeorological projections, the winter wheat harvest this year will be 36-39 million tonnes. Russia brought in 38.9 million tonnes of the grain in 2009. The largest expected decrease in production is in the Central district - to 8.5-9.5 million tonnes from 10.6 million last year - and in the Volga region - 20 4.6-5.5 from 6.9 million tonnes.

On the other hand, the southern winter grain harvest might increase to 16-17 million tonnes from 14.8 million tonnes last year, and in the Northern Caucasus - to 6.7-7 million tonnes from 6.3 million tonnes.

Winter wheat crop yield, according to Roshydromet's forecast, will be 28-30 centners per hectare this year versus 29 centners last year.

In the first ten days of May, agrometeorological conditions for young-plant development in the country's south improved thanks to several rains, which saturated the soil. In the middle of the month wheat began forming heads, and in the southern region began to flower. This was a week or two earlier than the average multi-year average.

The gross winter rye harvest is projected at 4-4.5 million tonnes against last year's 4.3 million and five-year average of 3.8 million.

According to the Russian Agriculture Ministry, winter crops were killed over 2.7 million hectares, more than last year. The gross grain crop as a whole this year will be around 90 million tonnes versus 97 million tonnes in 2009.