Russia’s ministry of agriculture forecast a wheat harvest of 75-78MMT in 2019, 4% higher than last year and possibly as high as 80MMT if conditions remain favourable.
They say the overall grain harvest is expected to be 118MMT (+5% on 2018) and this growth in production will meet domestic market demand while simultaneously increasing exports to achieve the target indicators of the federal project “Export of Agriculture”.
The last part of that sentence is probably the important bit.
Following this forecast by the Russian ministry of agriculture, my inbox is full of "Russia expects bumper wheat harvest" type of news.
However, talking to one of our Russian farmers this week and he told me wheat growth stages are behind last year, soil temperatures are still very low, but more significantly, soil moisture only ran to 20cm in the soil profile.
We will be there next week to make our first independent assessment and yield forecast direct from the field.
In other bullish news, the Russian ministry report that, as of February 25, daily sales volume of milk by agricultural organizations was 44.6KMT, 5.1% more than the same period last year, and the average milk yield/cow/day was 15.94KG, 0.92KG more than last year.
The Chairman of Russia’s National Union of Milk Producers (Soyuzmoloko), Andrey Danilenko, who has been the head of the Union since its foundation in 2008, announced his departure and replacement by Stefan Duerr, President of EkoNiva Group.
Russia will adopt a new law on organic produce to regulate the manufacturing, storage, transport, labelling, and marketing of organic products; the law is seen as a legal framework for further development of Russia’s organic sector and to increase Russia’s organic exports.
It is estimated that imported organic products currently account for 80% of Russia’s organic food market and, according to the ministry of agriculture, there are 10MHA of unused land considered suitable for organic farming, under the claim that there are no contaminants or chemical fertiliser.
Ukraine’s early spring planting is underway, report the ministry of agriculture, with of 22.5KHA or 1% of the forecast (7.2MHA) now in the ground. The spring sowing campaign started one month earlier than last year, according to the ministry, who say that favourable weather conditions give good expectations and prospects for the current year.
In a separate report, Ukraine's ministry of agriculture says 13% of winter crops are in poor condition, however considering a large part of Ukraine is still under snow and has been since November, this is probably just made up.
Ukraine’s acting minister of agriculture, Olga Trofimtseva, said the development of the livestock sector is among the long-term priorities of the ministry for 2019 and cited previous and planned state subsidies as examples of that support.
The Third International Congress Organic Ukraine will take place from March 14th in Odessa, the main topics will be Ukrainian regulations of the organic market, consumer profiles, marketing and promotion of organic products and organic production techniques.
According to Ukraine's State Statistics, as of Jan 2019, the average monthly salary in agriculture amounted to 7,340 UAH, which is 23.1% more than in the same period last year.
Kazakhstan is increasing the range of products exported to China including Kazakh lamb meat, and China is also interested in importing Kazakh-made camel milk powder.
Kazakhstan has developed a national breakfast brand including dishes such as tary and maisok (groats of millet), cottage cheese and ayran, kymyz (mare's milk), kurt (hard pressed cheese with salt), zhent, a dessert made of ground millet and dried fruits.