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Ukrainian winter wheat sowing underway, 3.5% complete - agriculture ministry

KYIV, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Ukrainian farms in almost all regions have started sowing winter wheat for the 2023 harvest, seeding 141,000 hectares, or 3.5% of the expected area, the agriculture ministry said on Tuesday.

The ministry did not provide a forecast, although minister Mykola Solsky told Reuters last month that the area could fall to 3.8 million hectares from 4.6 million a year earlier due to the Russian invasion.

The minister said that Ukraine's winter barley sowing area for the 2023 harvest could also fall by 20% from last year while the winter rapeseed area would remain unchanged.

The ministry said that farmers had already sown 7,100 hectares of winter barley, or 1.1% of the expected area, and 5,400 hectares of rye.

It also said farmers had sown 841,000 hectares of winter rape, 87% of the forecast.

Ukraine harvested 19 million tonnes of wheat this year compared with around 32.2 million tonnes in 2021. Hostilities in many regions and the occupation of large areas by Russia accounted for the decline. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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