The 2020 sowing campaign is already underway and Ukrainian agrarians sowed more than 3 million hectares of spring cereals, legumes and industrial crops during the last week. As of April 24, Ukrainian farmers have sown 7.8 million hectares of spring grains, which is 52% of the forecast (15.3 million hectares), the press service of the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture informs.

The structure of crops that have been sown in 2020:

• peas - 385 thousand hectares which is 100 thousand hectares more than it was at the same time in 2019;

• soybeans - 237 thousand hectares out of an estimated 1.4 million hectares.

• sunflower - 3.2 million hectares and from 6.2 million hectares;

• spring wheat - 119 thousand hectares out of an estimated 132.5 thousand hectares;

• spring barley - 1 million 73 hectares from 1.1 million hectares;

• maize - 2.4 million hectares from 5.4 million hectares;

• sugar beet - 199.8 thousand hectares out of 209 thousand hectares.

During the last week, the largest area increase was due to the sowing of corn - +1.4 million hectares and sunflower - +1.2 million hectares.

The leaders in sowing rates last week were agricultural farmers of: Mykolaiv (+314 thousand hectares), Poltava (+274 thousand hectares) and Kropyvnytskyi (+257 thousand hectares), Odesa (+247 thousand hectares) and Zaporizhzhia (+218 thousand hectares) regions.

The average air temperature in Ukraine in January 2020 was 3-5 degrees higher than in January 2019. Precipitation throughout January 2020 was lower than in the corresponding period of 2019. Based on this data and analyzing 2015-2019 metrics it is clear that soil moisture is currently in critical condition. For the past couple of years winter sharply turns into summer. There is a lack of moisture in the arable soils, which is observed even in the western regions, where traditionally similar problems have not occurred.

According to the adjusted forecasts of the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture in 2020, due to lack of moisture and economic factors caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers will harvest 60 million tonnes of grain and leguminous crops.

Modern Ukrainian farmers are increasingly adapting a set of basic agricultural crops and, consequently, crop rotation to market conditions. Preference here will be given to those crops that have relatively higher profitability, such as beans.