The Ukrainian harvest season is near the finishing line.
The forecast for the harvest is as follows: total grains – 61.6 mln tons, of which winter wheat is 22.8 mln tons; spring wheat – 0.58 mln tons; barley – 9 mln tons (winter barley is 3.3 mln tons; spring barley – 5.7 mln tons); rye – 0.44 mln tons; corn – 27.2 mln tons; oat – 0.56 mln tons.
About two-thirds of wheat is of poor quality and may be used for feed only. The export of milling wheat will be at most 2 mln tons.
The President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, on Saturday, August 30, after the meeting with Vladimir Putin, made a very troubling statement: "Ukraine is now at the crossroad." Just in a week or two, we will see if there will be a full-scale war with Russia or if Ukraine will give up.
This week, the Ukrainian military forces resumed the anti-terrorist operation (ATO). The hottest spot at the moment is Slaviansk (Donetsk oblast). This city has strategic significance since it is equidistant from three big and very important centers: Donetsk, Dniepropetrovsk, and Kharkiv. At the moment, the Slaviansk is controlled by terrorists who keep as hostages several people, among whom is the American journalist Simon Ostrovsky who works for Vice online.
The planting season in Ukraine has started with some advance in time. The decrease in planting area for winter crops by 1 mln hectares to 7 mln hectares was caused by the shift to most profitable (during the last five years) crops – corn, sunflower, and soybeans. Anyway, the current political risks limit the producers’ desire to sharply increase the planting area.
On March 19, the North-Crimean channel has been opened. The water began to fill first of all the irrigation systems in the Kherson oblast.
Despite the existence of the Ministry of the Agricultural Policy and Food of Ukraine, there was not and still there is no the coherent agricultural policy that could describe goals, means and outcomes to be expected. Since the independence of Ukraine in 1991 the agricultural policy consisted and still consists in distributing the limited amount of budget funds among the selected group of thieves. Such policy inevitably had the number of negative impacts on the Ukrainian agriculture.