The area sown to corn in Ukraine could fall by 30% to 35% in 2023 because of a shortage of money for farmers and electricity blackouts, the Ukrainian agriculture producers union said on Monday.
Russia invaded Ukraine in late February last year and swathes of land in the east, south and north of the country have been occupied or damaged by hostilities.
Russian attacks on Ukrainian energy facilities have led to widespread power shortages and hours of blackouts for millions of people across the country.
Denys Marchuk, deputy chair of the Ukrainian Agrarian Council, told Ukrainian television that a significant acreage of corn from the 2022 harvest was still in fields and could not be harvested.
'A Huge Expense'
"A large volume of corn remains in the fields today – according to various estimates, about 20% is still in the fields. It is not a problem to harvest it, but it needs to be dried and it is a huge expense," Marchuk said.
He said the corn price inside the country was relatively low and farmers cannot get back the invested funds.
"It is very important for us to understand what farmers will sow in spring and the fact that corn stays in the fields guarantees that we may have 30-35% less area under corn (in 2023)," he added.
Farmers had harvested 25.2 million tonnes of corn from 90% of the expected area or 3.8 million hectares with a yield of 6.65 tonnes per hectare as of Jan. 26, according to agriculture ministry data.
Ukraine's agriculture minister told Reuters last month a large area of non-harvested corn would prevent farmers from sowing corn again on these fields, with sunflower a possible replacement crop next spring.
News by Reuters, edited by ESM – your source for the latest supply chain news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.