In 2020, the general harvest of grain crops in Russia will total 124 mln tonnes, down 3.1 mln tonnes from the previous forecast, declared the Head of the analytical center at Rusagrotrans JSC, Igor Pavensky, on March 23.
The main downward revision occurred for wheat – by 3.2 mln tonnes to 77 mln tonnes. Moreover, the expert lowered the estimation of barley production (by 0.2 mln tonnes to 19.2 mln tonnes), while the forecast of corn crop was increased (by 0.3 mln tonnes to 13.8 mln tonnes). Despite the decline of total grain production, the current estimate is the second highest on record after the maximum volume of 135.5 mln tonnes achieved in 2017.
The expert explained that the downward revision of wheat and barley crops happened mainly due to possible decline of the yield in southern regions amid soil moisture deficit and frosts. Thus, the common estimate for Southern and North-Caucasian FDs was lowered by 3.1 mln tonnes to 42.8 mln tonnes, down 1.9 mln tonnes from the year ago level.
“The rains were late across the south to let the winter crops to recover yield potential and the precipitation was not abundant all over the region. The soil moisture in Krasnodar increased, but it is only modestly higher than in 2013. In Stavropol, it grew significantly and now are close to 2016 level. However, during several weeks, the soil moisture content had been the lowest in 15 years in the region”, - I.Pavensky said.
The forecast of grain production was retained at 31.5 mln tonnes in Central FD, up 0.2 mln tonnes from the year ago. The crop could exceed last year level by 4.2 mln tonnes to 26.8 mln tonens in Volga FD. In Siberia FD the production of grain could match the 2019 result (14.7 mln tonnes).