Belarus to Raise Winter Barley Areas
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Belarus’s main crop products are Wheat, Barley, Corn, rye, and oats. In MY 2021/2022, According to the USDA, Belarus produced 2.3 million tons of Wheat, 1 million tons of Barley, 0.85 million tons of Corn, and 0.5 million tons of rapeseeds. Also, the country produces approximately 1 million tons of triticale and 0.5 million tons of rye annually.
Minskaya region is the largest producer of Wheat with a 24% volume share, followed by Hrodzyenskaya (18% of total Wheat production), Brestskaya (17% of total Wheat production), Mahilyowskaya (14% of total Wheat production), Homyel’skaya (13% of total Wheat production), and Vitsyebskaya (12% of total Wheat production). In terms of Barley, Minskaya also leads others with 25% of the total Barley production, followed by Hrodzyenskaya; (18% of total Barley production) and Brestskaya (16% of total Barley production)
Belarus has a population of over 9.2 million. The agricultural sector in Belarus constitutes a diminishing proportion of the Gross Domestic Product. However, it employs about one-tenth of the labor force and is dominated by large collective and state farms. However, over time, the average farm became much smaller.
Belarus expected a record-high Grain harvest of about 11 million tons in 2022, Belarusian Agriculture and Food Minister Igor Brylo said during the international forum Belarus’ Dairy Industry. Grain yield increased by six centners per hectare compared to last year and is 36.4 centners per hectare. The procurement plan for 2022 was to make up 811,400 tons of Grain.
As of early September 2022, Grain and leguminous crops (excluding Corn) were harvested from 98.7% of the planned area (2.14 million hectares). According to the updated information, harvesting was completed on 99.1% of the target (353,500 hectares) in Brest Oblast, 97.8% (345,700 hectares) in Vitebsk Oblast, 99.5% (347,200 hectares) in Gomel Oblast, 98.6% (307,900 hectares) in Grodno Oblast, 98.7% (453,000 hectares) in Minsk Oblast, and 98.7% (333,500 hectares) in Mogilev Oblast.
Rapeseed was cut from 342,000 hectares of land (95.4% of the designated area), with 873,000 tons threshed (the average yield stood at 25.5 centners per hectare). Agricultural workers harvested millet from 6,520 hectares, or 56% of the target, threshing 16,000 tons with the average yield at 24.5 centners per hectare. BuckWheat was gathered from 15,400 hectares (44.5%) with 20,800 tons threshed (the average yield – 13.5 centners per hectare). Belarusian farmers threshed 68.500 tons of spring rapeseed.
Winter Barley Potential in Belarus
Winter Barley can be harvested earlier than other crops, and the machinery can be used more evenly throughout the harvest season. Although winter Barley is a demanding crop, it is still possible to secure high yields using the right technology. The high-level fields showed a yield of about 80 centners per hectare last year. The Kozlovichi-Agro farm reached similar results. Plans are to expand the planting areas under winter Barley this year significantly. According to Belarusian Agriculture and Food Minister Igor Brylo, plans are in place to substantially increase the area of winter Barley crops.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko explained why he had been paying close attention to this crop lately. “Winter Barley is salvation for us. Its vegetation time comes at a period when there is some moisture. This is true, especially for the southern parts of the country. We should try it in Gomel Oblast if there is not enough moisture,” said the President.
“We need to cultivate winter Barley. No one was interested in it in the Soviet times. Today we have technologies, equipment, and specialists. We can easily get a good harvest of Barley. We should try to do it,” the Belarusian leader added.
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