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Ukrainian farms start winter wheat sowing - agriculture ministry

KYIV, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Ukrainian farms have sown the first 5,170 hectares of winter wheat for the 2023 harvest, the agriculture ministry said on Tuesday.

The ministry did not provide a forecast, although minister Mykola Solsky told Reuters last week 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 686,000 hectares of winter rape adding that Ukraine's western regions had completed sowing.

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 Louise Heavens)

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