MINSK, 3 August (BelTA) – Plans are in place to complete grain harvest in Belarus by 20 August, Nikolai Leshik, the head of the main crop production department at the Agriculture and Food Ministry, told BelTA.
“As for our technical possibilities, we can harvest crops within 23 days across the country. Considering that some 24% of the area has already been harvested, we can assume that with favorable weather conditions in place we can finish grain harvest by 20 August. Perhaps some spring wheat and legumes, like lupine, will have to be harvested later. Moreover, the northern areas of the country start harvesting a little later, so their terms are extended through 25 August,” he said.
According to the specialist, some 50,000 hectares of grain and leguminous crops were harvested and 170,000 tonnes of grain were threshed by 2 August. “Considering the fact that winter rape harvest is still underway, we can say that the harvesting pace is increasing across the country. I think we will increase the harvesting rate by 1.5 times in the next few days and will come close to milling about 300,000 tonnes of cereals per day, not taking winter colza into account. Winter barley has been almost cropped,” said Nikolai Leshik.
As for weather conditions, he stressed that meteorologists are giving an encouraging forecast for the upcoming week, with sunny weather and daytime temperatures of 28-32 degrees expected. This will have a favorable impact on the harvesting pace. Ample moisture in the soil will help shape the harvest of other crops such as sugar beets, maize and potatoes.
“This year, grain crops yield almost 5 centners per hectare higher compared to the previous year. Winter barley yields at about 51 centners per hectare (48 centners per hectare last year). Colza yields average 20.4 centners per hectare, 2.3 centners per hectare up from the previous year. Wheat yields more than 41 centners per hectare, triticale - 32 centners per hectare, rye - 27 centners per hectare. Thus, I can say that we are in for a higher harvest this year,” the expert said.