Russian grain harvest will be 18 million tonnes less than last year

'5.4 million hectares of land have been harvested this year and 12.5 million tonnes of grain have been ground.' This was announced today by Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Agricultural Policy Ivan Starikov. He said this is approximately 30% less than last year. Such a poor harvest, he said, is due to the weather. 'Spring came late this year and so the harvest was hurried and some fields were incorrectly harvested,' Mr Starikov said. 'This year there will 18 million tonnes of bread less than last year,' he said, adding that this will not cause serious problems as a surplus of grain still remains from last year.

'Unfortunately, good quality grain will again be in short supply. The situation was made worse by the fact that in many regions the dry season was followed by lengthy spells of rain and this affects the quality of grain,' Mr Starikov said.

In his opinion grain producers will earn more this year. 'Grain prices are now closer to world prices so last year's fall in prices due to the large harvest will not be repeated this year. Strangely enough, the poor harvest will improve the economic welfare of Russian agriculture,' Mr Starikov said.

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