ČD Cargo Transships Ukrainian Corn via the Czech Republic

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Jan 19, 2023 | Agricultural Markets

Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech freight carrier ČD Cargo, which was only marginally involved in importing Ukrainian commodities, is now fully involved in transporting Corn. The first train, assembled from special containers, transported almost 1,500 tons of this grain in mid-2022. Corn was loaded into containers from Ukrainian trucks at the loading dock near Hanisky near Košice, Slovakia. Although transporting agricultural commodities by rail is a significant help, Ukraine is still striving to restore shipping.

Ukrainian Corn is transported by the Czech freight carrier trains using so-called bulk containers. These are 30-foot containers designed for the transport of bulk material, which is loaded through the hoppers from the top. The first dispatched train transported 1,480 tons of Corn in 40 containers. It arrived at the port of Hamburg Hohe Schaar from the transshipment after two days.

The company also took the train with Corn from Ukraine to the German port of Brake in cooperation with other partners. From there, the shipment continued by ship to Egypt. “The train carried about 1,800 tons of Corn, which was loaded into the Uagps standard gauge wagons at the TKD transshipment depot in Dobrá near Čierna nad Tisou,” explained the Chairman of the ČD Cargo Board of Directors, Tomáš Tóth. ČD Cargo is also intensively discussing other transport options. A significant advantage is that it is licensed to operate trains in neighboring countries and has experience in providing rail-water transport.

It is practically impossible to determine the total volumes of Ukrainian agricultural commodities transported through the Czech Republic. According to the available information, there could have been about 200 trains in transit through the Czech Republic between April and July last year, which could have transported around 350-400,000 tons of agricultural commodities.

Czech Corn Varieties

According to the USDA, the Czech Republic’s Corn production was 988,000 tons in MY 2021/22. The Department projects this season’s Corn output at 813,000 tons. Corn harvested area was 102,000 hectares in 2021, according to the EUROSTAT. 

Based on the results of the registration tests, a total of 46 maize hybrids were newly registered in the Czech Republic in 2022, of which 25 hybrids were for silage and 21 hybrids for grain. A total of 345 maize hybrids of 15 maintainers are currently registered in the Czech Republic. The Corn hybrids are registered in the Czech Republic, and their properties have been verified by the Central Agricultural Inspection and Testing Institute as part of tests of good value according to Act No. 219/2003 Coll. All information about their properties is a summary result of the responses for the years 2020-2021.

For silage hybrids, in addition to yield indicators, evaluations of quality parameters using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) are also available, namely starch content, organic matter digestibility indicators ELOS (de Boever), IVDOM (Tilley and Terry) and DCS (Andrieu and Aufrére) and also the calculation of NEL energy content, and DINAG fiber digestibility (INRA).

Evaluation of the specific properties of hybrids important for biogas production is not yet carried out as part of various registration tests. ÚKZÚZ is verifying the possibility of introducing the calculation of biogas yield from the existing available quality parameters. For instance, the description of the newly registered hybrid “Altasio” is as follows: 

  • Two-line (Sc), very early hybrid (earliness number 230 S).
  • Plants tall, canes set high, number of grain rows low to medium-high, grain type hard.
  • Total dry matter yield medium to high, total green matter yield high, starch content medium-high, ELOS digestibility medium-high, IVDOM digestibility medium-high.
  • Intended for growing for silage in ZVO (ZVO) beet and potato fields.
  • Preliminary variety designation: KXB9315.
  • Maintained by: KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA.

Other sources: AGROMANUAL

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