Ukraine starts 2014 grain harvest

KIEV (Reuters) — Ukraine’s southern regions have started 2014 grain harvesting, a few weeks earlier than last year, analyst UkrAgroConsult said on Thursday.

“First of all the initial mowing of winter barley should be made. Farmers note that harvesting has begun with prematurely ripened low-growing plants which had not received enough moisture,” the consultancy said in a report.

The Ukrainian agriculture ministry has said that farms had sown 2.6 million hectares of early spring grains, mostly spring barley.

Analysts and traders have said Ukraine is likely to harvest around seven million tonnes of barley this year versus 7.6 million tonnes in 2013.

They forecast that the harvest of wheat could remain at last year’s level of around 22 million tonnes.