MINSK, 27 March (BelTA) – The sowing of early spring cereals and leguminous crops has kicked off in Belarus, Nikolai Leshik, head of the main department of crop production of the Belarusian Agriculture and Food Ministry, told BelTA.
“Belarusian farmers have already begun sowing of spring crops. The only exceptions are Vitebsk Oblast and Mogilev Oblast. The field work is most active in Brest Oblast. It usually gets warmer there some 7-10 days earlier. This region sets the pace at the beginning of the sowing campaign,” Nikolai Leshik said.
As of 27 March, early spring cereals and leguminous crops (excluding maize, buckwheat and millet) were sown on an area of 49,700 hectares, or 7.63% of the plan. Brest Oblast completed planting works on 29.4% of the planned area, Gomel Oblast – 7.26%, Grodno Oblast – 12.8%, Minsk Oblast – 0.91%. Land for sowing early spring cereals and leguminous crops was tilled on an area of 122,400ha (18.8% of the target).
“If we compare with the previous period, this year the pace of sowing is a little slower. Last year we started full-scale works on 12 April, when we sowed more than 25,000 hectares per day. In late March – early April we also had rises, but weather conditions made the work a little more difficult and the rate was at the level of 10,000 hectares per day,” the head of the main department of crop production of the Belarusian Agriculture and Food Ministry said.
In his words, according to forecasts, the situation will be similar this year. “Last week there were several days with good weather, it was even 17 degrees Celsius in some places. This allowed us to approach 10,000 hectares of sowing. However, in the next few days temperature will go under zero which will be a deterrent. Currently we are planning to increase the rate of sowing starting from 3 April,” Nikolai Leshik said.
Early spring cereals and leguminous crops will occupy a total of 650,400 hectares this year. Grain maize will be planted on 265,300 hectares, potatoes – on 26,100 hectares, sugar beets – on 101,700 hectares.
This year, agricultural organizations and farms must ensure the production of 8,877,000 tonnes of grain.