Russia's winter crop sowing forecast raised from 12 million hectares to almost 15 million hectares as impact of bad weather conditions will be smaller than initially predicted, says agriculture minister

MOSCOW , November 14, 2013 () – Impacts of bad weather conditions on the winter crop sowing campaign in Russia will be smaller than it was forecasted previously, Russian Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fedorov told a "Governmental Hour" meeting at the State Duma lower parliament house on Wednesday.

As of now, winter crops have already been sown on an area of 14.4 million hectares, the minister said, adding that more crops may be sown on 300,000-400,000 hectares in the North Caucasusian Federal District in the nearest future.

At the beginning of the year, the Agriculture Ministry planned to sow winter crops on an area of 16.4 million hectares. However, the forecast was considerably lowered because of bad weather conditions of this year. Under the worst scenario, the ministry forecasted that winter crops would be sown on no more than 12 million hectares.

The Agriculture Ministry plans to compensate for smaller autumn sowing by increasing areas under spring crops and under corn in 2014, Fedorov said. "Despite the loud criticism, Nikita Khrushchev was right. This year, we forecast a record high corn harvest that is expected to exceed ten million tonnes," the minister said.

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