Wheat yields in occupied areas 20% lower than in remaining parts of Ukraine

Wheat yields in occupied areas 20% lower than in remaining parts of Ukraine

According to NASA estimates, this marketing season, winter wheat crops in the occupied areas of Ukraine have decreased by almost 10%, and yields are on average more than 20% lower than in the areas free of the enemy.

These are the results of a study by NASA Harvest (NASA's consortium for global food security and agriculture), conducted with the support of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy reports.

Researchers note a further reduction in the scale of agricultural activity and agricultural production potential in the temporarily occupied territories.

"In the current 2023/2024 marketing season, the acreage under winter wheat in the occupied territories of Ukraine decreased by almost 10%. At the same time, the average yield of winter wheat is more than 20% lower than the results obtained by farmers in the free territories," the statement said.

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NASA's Harvest project estimates the production of key grains and oilseeds in both the government-controlled and temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine using satellite-based methods.

NASA's satellite estimates are closely aligned with the Ministry of Agrarian Policy's estimates for the government-controlled territory, which gives confidence in the accuracy of the estimates for the temporarily occupied areas. Comparing 2023 with 2022, one can see a significant decrease in the area under crops in the occupied territories, accompanied by a noticeable increase in the area of abandoned arable land. While good weather conditions this season contributed to higher yields, the NASA's analysis also revealed significant areas of farmland in poor condition and abandonment in fields along the front line, Inbal Becker-Reshef, Program Director of NASA Harvest, commented.

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According to the researchers, a total of 6.26 million tons of winter wheat were harvested from an area of 1.64 million hectares in the temporarily occupied territories this year, with an average yield of 38.1 centners per hectare (c/ha), and 22.79 million tons with a yield of 48.3 c/ha in the territories controlled by Ukraine.

Last season (2022/2023 marketing year), the total area under winter wheat crops amounted to 7.2 million hectares, 1.8 million hectares of which were in the temporarily occupied territories (occupation borders as of August 2022). The winter wheat yield in the occupied areas was 16% lower than in the free territories. In addition, 8% of winter wheat crops were not harvested.

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As reported, as of the end of last week, farmers from the government-controlled areas harvested 75.7 million tons of grains and oilseeds. Grains and legumes were harvested from 10.237 million hectares with a yield of 53.8 c/ha (more than 55.53 million tons of grain). Oilseeds were harvested in the amount of 20.703 million tons from over 8.205 million hectares. The average yield of sunflower was 23.8 c/ha, soybeans, 26.5 c/ha, and rapeseed, 28.7 c/ha.

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