21 Jul 2009 15:00

Russia harvests 23.2 mln tonnes of grain as of July 21

MOSCOW. July 21 (Interfax) - Russian farmers had harvested 23.2 million tonnes of grain as of July 21, or 2.5 million hectares more than on the same date of 2008, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement.

Harvest work will pick up significantly over the next ten days, the ministry said.

Grain and pulse crops have been harvested from an area of 7.6 million hectares, which is 2.2 million hectares more than a year ago and makes up 16% of the total area planted. More than 8.8 million tonnes of grain were harvested from over 3.2 million hectares over the last week.

The ministry said 94,000 tonnes of winter rapeseed crops have been harvested from 61,000 hectares, or 47% of the 130,000 hectares planted. Average rapeseed yield is 1.54 tonnes per hectare.

The Agriculture Ministry expects the gross grain harvest to total 85 million tonnes this year compared to 108.1 million tonnes in 2008.