Ukraine sunflower planting overtakes 2017, corn slips back


Ukrainian spring sowing maintained its strong pace over the weekend as farmers added an additional 800,000 hectares of sunflower plantings since Friday to push total planted area ahead of the same time last year, data from the Ukrainian agriculture ministry showed Wednesday.

Sunflower sowing, which only started mid-April after a two-week delay, now covers 3.3 million ha, or 59% of the target, compared to the 3.1 million ha covered at this time in 2017.

That puts the daily average pace of sunflower sowing at 173,000 ha/day, compared to an average of 91,000 ha/day last year.

Over the past four days, a further 800,000 hectares of corn were also sown, putting progress at 2.3 million ha, or 49% of the expected total, compared to 2.4 million ha covered at the same time last year.

The average pace in 2018 still outstrips 2017, with a daily average of 164,000 ha covered in 2018, compared to an average of 109,000 ha a day in 2017, when sowing started 10 days earlier.

Meanwhile, a total of 439,000 ha have been planted with soybeans since work started on April 7, with over 40% of area covered in the last four days alone and narrowing the gap to last year to just 27,000 ha.

This year’s pace averages 31,000 ha/day, compared to 18,000 ha/day in 2017.

Spring wheat sowing progressed at a steady pace to reach 152,000 ha as of Wednesday, at 93% of its target, compared to a total of 165,000 ha sown this time last year.

Sowing progress of spring barley moved forward at a snail’s pace though, with 1.4 million ha, or 91% of the target, sown, an increase of one percentage point since last Friday.


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