Ukrainian farmers have now completed 70% of spring plantings, AgriCensus reported on 13 May from the latest update from the country’s agriculture ministry.

However, authorities across the country are warning that progress is likely to be hampered by a shortage of resources, including fertilisers, crop protection agents and dwindling fuel stocks, according to the report.

In addition, limited prospects for storing or marketing crops were also impacting prospects for the upcoming season, amid ongoing fighting with Russian forces, AgriCensus wrote.

In the Ivano-Frankivsk region, in the west of the country, planting had mainly been suspended due to a lack of fuel, Stepan Vintonovich, deputy director of the department of agro-industrial development, was quoted as saying.

“Agriculture is not included in the list of critical infrastructure, so the equipment is refuelled for farmers on an occasional basis. The state promises to correct the situation after 15 May, but spring time is lost,” Vintonovich said.

The lack of rain was also affecting the situation, he added.

Meanwhile, farmers could safely work the land due to the efforts of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in clearing ordnance and mines – although hazards remained, the report said.

Around 1.3M ha was planted between 9-12 May, the report said, with farmers sowing sunflower, corn and soyabeans.

The rate of rapeseed planting had been slow, the report said, progressing by just 0.6% through the period and was complete on 26,700ha, or 80.4% of the total planted area forecast to be sown.

Sunflower planting advanced at a standard pace by 6.3% and was complete on 3.2M ha or 50.5% of the planned area, compared to 71% at the same point last year.

The greatest lag in sunflower and barley planting pace compared to last year was observed in the occupied territories – Kharkiv, Zaporozhye, Donetsk, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Luhansk and Kyiv, according to the report.

Soyabean planting had advanced during the reporting period by 11.6% to 728,600ha, the report said.

Spring wheat planting was 97.6% complete, according to the report, reaching 187,500ha, compared to 91% of last year's progress at the same point.

Although the Ministry of Agriculture had not given a forecast for the 2022 grain harvest, it had said it expected the planted area could fall by 20% this year due to ongoing fighting with Russian forces in many regions.

The assessment was based on calculations of the planted area in the zone of occupation or active hostilities, the current dynamics of the sown area in the territories controlled by Ukraine and the reduction in crop yields due to a lack of fertilisers and plant protection products, AgriCensus wrote.