KYIV: Farmers in southern Ukraine have started spring grain sowing, planting the first hectares of spring barley, producers said over the weekend.

Farmers in the southern Odesa, Mykolaiv and Kherson regions traditionally start sowing in the second half of February if weather conditions are favourable.

“The weather has made it possible to start work in the field. The sowing of flax, coriander and spring barley is now under way,” the Mykolaiv-based Southern Agrarian and Export Company said in a statement.

Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Mykola Solsky told Reuters on Friday that the ministry expected the 2024 spring sowing area to be the same as last year, though there could be a slight decrease in the worst-case scenario.

Ukrainian farmers sowed a total of 12.75 million hectares of spring crops for the 2023 harvest, including 5.7 million hectares of grains. The acreage included 4 million hectares of corn, 5.3 million hectares of sunflower and 1.78 million hectares of soy beans.

Ukraine is a major global grain and oilseeds producer but its harvests have shrunk since Russia invaded the country and occupied significant territory.

The war, now in its 24th month and with no end in sight, has driven up global grain prices and disrupted supplies, especially to poorer countries.


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