The Kremlin-controlled Ministry of Agriculture of the Crimea stated that the winter and summer crops could be lost due to the lack of moisture affecting large agricultural areas.
“The examination of crops in the regions showed that the situation with moisture in most areas is critical and if there is lack of productive rains in the near future, it may result in crop failures of autumn-sown and spring-sown cereals in large areas, as well as a significant decrease in crop yields in preserved fields,” the statement read.
According to the Russian Minister of Agriculture of the Crimea, Andrey Ryumshin, the situation became critical due to insufficient amount of rainfall during winter.
“According to the analysis made by our Ministry, there was not enough moisture in the second half of 2017. That caused the late sprouting and development of winter crops. The winter period also failed to contribute to moisture accumulation in the soil, and anticipated productive rainfall in the spring did not come to pass,” he noted.
According to the Deputy Academic Director of the Research Institute of Agriculture of the Crimea, Lyudmila Radchenko, the situation with winter crops is especially dangerous in the North and East of the Crimea, namely the Pervomaysky, Rzadolnensky, Dzhankoy, Nyzhnohirskyi, Sovetsky, Chernomorsky, Leninsky and Kirovsky districts.
In January, Minister Ryumshin predicted good harvests of sugar beet and cereal crops in 2018. The official stated at the time that Crimean farmers sowed 436,000 hectares of winter wheat and plan to harvest at least 1.7 million tons of grain.
Some Crimean farmers complained to local media that they grow wheat at a loss. Due to the sanctions, losses of markets and low purchase prices in neighboring Russia, their products became much cheaper. Moreover, Crimean farmers lost significant profits due to shortages of freshwater on the peninsula.