Agriculture is one of the main fields in the economy of Ukraine due to its climate and demographic reasons (the density of population in the rural areas in Ukraine is quite high). Ukraine occupies the third place in the world in the corn export, fifth place in the wheat export.
Ukraine has a fame of the granary. The main field in agriculture is the plant cultivation, especially technical and stern.
Black soil and arable lands
The total land area of Ukraine is 60 million hectares and about 42 million hectares belong to the agricultural land with the gardens, cultivated land, vineyards and pastures.
Ukraine owned 32 million hectares of black soil before the beginning of the war actions in 2014. 32 million hectares made the third part of the Europe’s arable lands.
Experts say that, nowadays, only about 45-50% of the arable lands are used for crops cultivation.
Ukrainian agricultural products
The climate of Ukraine suits for both spring and winter crops. The leading role in the agriculture belongs to the grain production on the territory of Ukraine. The main Ukrainian grain crops are spring barley, winter wheat and corn. The main industrial or technical crops of Ukraine are sugar beet and sunflowers.
Let’s have a look at the crops, grown in Ukraine.
Ukrainians grow wheat in different parts of the country, but the main areas are South-central and the central part. Winter wheat is planted in autumn and harvested in such months as July and August of the next year. It is the main kind of wheat that is grown on the territory of Ukraine. The annual Ukrainian wheat production varies from 15 to 22 million tons.
Barley is the main feed grain on the territory of Ukraine. The main region, where barley is grown is the Eastern part. The main kind of barley is the spring barley. It is planted in spring, in April and is harvested in August.
One more important feed grain in Ukraine is corn. The Southern and Eastern parts of Ukraine are the main areas, where corn is grown. It is usually planted in April or in May and is harvested from the end of September till the beginning of November. Corn is mainly used for the swine feed and for the poultry feed.
Sunflowers are grown in the Eastern and Southern parts of the country. Usually they are planted in April and are harvested starting from September till October. Sunflower seeds are considered to be one of the most profitable crops because of the low cost of production, high price of the product and a really high level of demand.
Ukrainians grow sugar beets in the Western and central parts of Ukraine. They are planted in April and harvested from September to November. Sugar beets production started to decline from the 1990 because sunflowers are more profitable crops for Ukraine.
Agriculture statistics of Ukraine
- Sunflower is traditionally the most profitable crop in plant cultivation, the mean value of its profitability during the last ten years is about 40%.
- Vegetables of the open ground occupy the second place. The production profitability of the open ground vegetables is about 47%, due to the results of 2015. The most profitable vegetables are tomatoes, onion, carrots and cabbage.
- Rape is losing its popularity, not looking on its growing profitability that was 44% in 2015. Winter rape is a very risky culture that can die due to the severe winter and autumn droughts. The growing costs are high and the risks to lose the crop are even higher.
- Grain crops are on the fourth place in their profitability. The profitability rose up to 43%.
- Soya is on the fifth place and its profitability rate is 38,4%.
- The profitability of the sugar beet is 26,9%. The land, occupied by sugar beet growing is decreasing with every next year and specialists prognosticate sugar deficit in 2017.
Meat and milk production in Ukraine
Dairy farming is one more popular kind of industry in Ukraine. On the 10th January 2016 Ukrainian companies that produce milk got the access to the European market. Bulgaria was the first country that accepted Ukrainian dairy products. Of course the main consumer of Ukrainian dairy products was Russia and this industry suffered a lot after the Russian ban in 2014. Such countries as Armenia, Kazakhstan and Georgia became the main consumers of the Ukrainian milk products.
Ukraine produces such meat products as beef, pork, lamb, horse, chicken and rabbit. The production of meat increases with the every next year in spite of the difficult situation in the country. Ukraine exports poultry products to the EU countries. Meat is exported to such countries as Moldova, Belarus, Azerbaijan and other countries.
The most of Ukrainian grain crops are exported to the North Africa and the Middle East. Ukraine occupied such leading positions in 2015:
- 3rd exporter of barley in the world (4,5 million tons);
- 1st exporter of sunflower oil (4 million tons);
- 6th exporter of wheat (15 million tons);
- 4th exporter of corn on the world (15,5 million tons);
- 7th exporter of soybeans (2,2 million tons).
The cereal production reached the record in 2015 and made 63,8 million tons. Corn was the most exported crop in 2016. The export of wheat has a positive dynamic and was about 16 million tons in 2015-2016. As for the corn, Ukraine exports it to such countries as Egypt, European Union and China. More than that, Ukraine became the main corn supplier to China starting from 2015.
The main importer of Ukrainian sunflower oil is China. About 85% of Ukrainian sunflower seeds are exported to this country. Ukraine exports about 57% of the soybeans and is a member of the Danube Soya association that supports producers of soya, who grow it without GM on the territory of Europe.
Agricultural land sale in Ukraine
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine prolonged the moratorium till the end of 2017 on the land sale that has agricultural function. It is impossible to sell agricultural land that is owned by the government now. The citizenry of Ukraine will be allowed to sell the agricultural land only in the beginning of 2019.