Thursday, 16 February 2017

Ukraine to increase soya production, says Minister of Agriculture

Ukraine's Minister of Agriculture said Ukraine will increase in soya production.

The Minister said that soya production increased 20 times in the last ten years and 2016 was a record harvest for the crop at more than 4mmt.

Actually production increased five times and exports by six in the last ten years so on this occasion the Minister has been somewhat “over briefed”, but it is true to say production has increased as it has with all the major crops in Ukraine.

Soya is a tricky crop to grow in Ukraine, it’s more technically demanding and temperamental to weather conditions than wheat, corn or sunflower.

Getting the split application of broad leafed and grassweed herbicide timing is critical as is inoculating the seed accurately and the fertiliser regime which despite what everyone advises in Ukraine, often does need some nitrogen.

Growing GM soya alleviates the weed control option but although GM soya is grown, it is illegal and as Ukraine aligns itself closer to the EU that's more likely to become an issue than not.

Seed tends to be more expensive than other spring crops so all in all I don’t see soya production increasing significantly in Ukraine, while there is the capacity to grow more, four to five million tonnes production is probably the limit for now.

The Minister also mentioned organic soybeans as an area for development which begs the suggestion, will we start to see the production of organic GM soya in Ukraine?