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Grain Output May Fall 40%

Russia’s drought could slash its 2010 grain output by nearly 40 percent to 60 million metric tons, and the winter wheat sowing campaign could begin to be in jeopardy if there is no rain during or right after the next 10 days.

“Our investigations show that the sowing may be delayed by some 10 days without losses — but only in case of rains,” agricultural forecasting official Anna Strashnaya said.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who said Russia’s ban on grain exports could extend into next year, noted that the drought could prevent some regions from starting the sowing campaign for the 2011 winter grain crop, which normally accounts for roughly 40 percent of the total.


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