The spring sowing campaign in Ukraine has continued to make steady progress with rapeseed sowing ahead of last year’s pace, AgriCensus reported on 21 April from the country’s agriculture ministry’s latest update.

As of 21 April, more than 3M ha had been sown, amounting to around 21% of the forecast for spring crops – although the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine made it difficult to forecast total planted area, the report said.

The exact total figure was likely to be announced in late May, when sowing had finished, AgriCensus wrote.

In some parts of the country liberated from occupation, work would be needed to remove landmines from fields, the report said, with areas around Chernihiv, Sumy and parts of the Kharkiv and Kyiv regions, likely to be affected.

Despite the ongoing problems in these regions, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy said it still expected that at least 60-70% of the area would be able to be planted on time, with the potential for more land to come into circulation once clearance was complete.

The most difficult situation was in temporarily occupied regions and where active hostilities continued around Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and the Kherson regions, AgriCensus wrote. In these states, the forecast was less positive, with sowing only possible on 30/40% of the likely planted area, according to an announcement by the First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, Taras Vysotsky, in an update from the press service of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy.

In the rest of Ukraine, however, sowing was going according to plan.

The spring rapeseed sowing pace, for example, was ahead of last year’s pace and farmers had already planted 16,400ha, accounting for 49.4% of the anticipated area, while sowing had not started by the same time last year.

Sunflower planting had progressed by 4.3% and was complete on 896,000ha, or 13.8%, compared to 18.5% last year, while soyabean planting had advanced by 1.6% to 62,000 ha.