Marat Zyabbarov about frosts and harvest: ‘We will observe the crops, it's too early to draw conclusions’

Marat Zyabbarov about frosts and harvest: ‘We will observe the crops, it's too early to draw conclusions’
Photo: предоставлено realnoevremya.ru пресс-службой раиса Татарстана

Crop costs in Tatarstan have increased to almost 80 billion rubles this year, taking into account the rise in the cost of fertilisers, seeds, fuels and lubricants and spare parts. More than half of the amount will go to spring sowing campaign, which has already begun in all districts. More information about how the sowing campaign is taking place and what damage the May frosts caused to the first crops was told at a briefing at the Government House of the republic on 6 May.

“Certainly, there is an anxiety about frosts”

The abnormally cold weather of recent days has not had a significant impact on the situation in the industry, Deputy Prime Minister of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of Tatarstan Marat Zyabbarov stated during a briefing. In general, the winter turned out to be abundant in precipitation, in most of the republic there was almost no frozen layer of soil, and this made it possible to replenish the supply of moisture in the soil, which was so lacking in autumn. At the same time, a dangerous phenomenon has arisen in a number of areas — “rotting” — due to the high snow cover. As for the recent frosts, farmers need time to assess their impact:

“The frosts that affected us, of course, there is an anxiety because of them today. Because we have made the first crops, there are already seedlings. Pretty beautiful, good young crops are crops of barley, rapeseed, and other crops, perennial grasses. Frosts are having their negative impact, but what is it going to look like? Those managers with whom we communicate say that the upper leaves are slightly frostbitten, yellowed. Now we are going to monitor. But even if there is a re-planting, it will be insignificant, scanty," Marat Zyabbarov is convinced.

“We are going to monitor. But even if there is a re-sowing, it will be insignificant, scanty," Marat Zyabbarov is convinced. предоставлено пресс-службой раиса Татарстана

Thanks to the warm April, according to the minister, the winter crops felt good: Since autumn, 550 thousand hectares have been sown, the failure rate was less than 1%.

Today, field works are underway in full force in all areas. The sown area is going to amount to 2.7 million hectares this year, which is at the level of last year, including 1.8 million hectares of spring sowing, technical — 502 thousand hectares, fodder — 694 thousand hectares. Novosheshminsky, Chistopolsky, Drozhzhanovsky, Nizhnekamsky, and Aksubaevsky districts were the first to go to the sowing on April 17. As of today, 684.2 thousand hectares of spring crops have been sown, or 38% of the plan (the plan is 1802 thousand hectares). Sowing works have begun in all districts.

“The decrease in air temperature in the south-eastern part of the republic affected the crops of perennial grasses, it is necessary to monitor these crops for a day or two, it is too early to draw conclusions," added Marat Zyabbarov.

Crop costs have increased by 3 billion

The production of crop production in Tatarstan has risen in price by 3 billion rubles over the year. If last year the costs of farmers amounted to 76.1 billion, then this year, in order to maintain the resource security of field production, according to preliminary calculations, 79 billion rubles are needed. Of these, 38.8 billion rubles will be spent on spring field works:

  • including: for fertilisers — 12.5 billion rubles;
  • seeds — 7.4 billion rubles;
  • plant protection products — 5.8 billion rubles;
  • POL and spare parts — 4.9 billion rubles;
  • other expenses — 8.2 billion rubles (salary — 4.6, depreciation — 3.2, insurance costs — 0.5 billion rubles).

Last year, spring field works cost 37.3 billion rubles.

The industry needs 79 billion rubles, of which 38.8 billion rubles will be spent on spring field works. Илья Репин / realnoevremya.ru

According to the minister, 1.3 million tons of products are stored in the elevators of the republic today, of which 430 thousand tons of grain from the 2022 harvest and 899 thousand tons of grain from the 2023 harvest. The estimated cost of grain produced averages 10.79 rubles per 1 kg. At the same time, the average selling price (excluding VAT) for wheat of the 3rd class is 10,500 rubles per ton, wheat of the 4th class is 8,200 rubles. 388.5 million rubles were allocated to farms to support farmers this year for grain sold, although in 2023 there were 982 million rubles.

Among the major projects of the year is the completion by August Agro of the first stage of the construction of an elevator complex for 66 thousand tons of grain for 2.7 billion rubles. The design capacity is 112 thousand tons of one-time storage. It will be able to ship grain annually in the amount of up to 450 thousand tons by rail and 160 thousand tons by water transport. Grain is currently being shipped in test mode. The company is building the same complex in Bugulminsky district. As of today, the vertical layout of the site has been completed and the foundations are being laid. In total, 57 investment projects worth 67 billion rubles are being implemented in the republic.

The republic is provided with seeds of grain and leguminous crops. As for the purchased ones, almost all the contracted batches have been delivered to farms, the head of the Ministry of Agriculture assured: “We are witnessing an increase in the purchase of seeds of domestic selection. In sugar beet crops, they will occupy about 10%, corn — 68%, sunflower — 46%.”

According to the minister, 1.3 million tons of grain from past harvests are stored in the elevators of the republic today. Роман Хасаев / realnoevremya.ru

Dealers have established the supply of spare parts

11 thousand tractors, 6 thousand tillage units, 5.1 thousand seeders and 863 sowing complexes in an aggregate with energy-saturated tractors are involved in the sowing campaign. 5.8 billion rubles are needed to prepare equipment for field work.

To curb the intensive aging of the machine and tractor fleet, farmers need to purchase at least 450 tractors, 150 grain harvesters and 50 forage harvesters annually.

There is no shortage of spare parts in this repair season, the minister said. Dealers have arranged their delivery. Work on import substitution is also continuing, the production of about 3 thousand items of spare parts for imported cars has been established in the capacities of industrial enterprises.

“For technical modernisation, almost all equipment is purchased from domestic manufacturers. These are, for example, Rostov tractors," Marat Zyabbarov answered the question of Realnoe Vremya. “There are Bryansk tractors. Chinese equipment is arriving today, but it is a low-power equipment that is mainly used in the field of animal husbandry today.

Besides, several companies in Russia are currently engaged in import substitution in the production of small spare parts for agricultural machinery, producing discs, chains, horns. “We produce a lot of them in the republic. Today, such a certain reorientation is underway, and this is good. But as for technical modernisation, we have purchased equipment in the range of 2.9 billion rubles this year. By the end of last year, it was about 4.5 billion, an order of magnitude more. We also see and feel this. It's not that producers still have free funds. All the money is spent mainly on current activities and field work," the minister said.

According to the technical modernisation, almost all equipment is purchased domestically, the minister said. предоставлено пресс-службой раиса Татарстана

At the same time, there are no problems with the purchase of domestic agricultural machinery today. It is also available in factories, and it can also be purchased through Rosagroleasing or Tatagroleasing. This applies to both machines and the sowing complex, he added.

There are no problems in terms of providing farms with diesel fuel. TAIF JSC and Tatneft PJSC allocated 70 thousand tons of preferential fuel each. The discounted price will be 1.5-2 thousand rubles per ton. Farmers exported 12.1 thousand tons of preferential fuel.

Separately, Marat Zyabbarov focused on labour protection issues. Since the beginning of the year, 4 accidents have occurred in the republic, one of them fatal: a 3rd year student of the Sarmanovsky Agricultural College died in the Yarysh farm of the Almetyevsk district while servicing a seeder. Heads of farms were called upon to conduct timely briefings and require employees to comply with labour discipline.

Over 15 billion for subsidies to farmers

13.6 billion rubles are provided for state support of the agro-industrial complex this year (15.1 billion a year earlier). Subsidies for the purchase of fertilisers, machinery and equipment, stimulation of milk production, support for livestock breeding, sale of grain crops and in the field of crop production are most in demand. Tatarstan farmers have already received 4.2 billion rubles.

Speaking next, the director of the Tatarstan regional branch of the Russian Agricultural Bank, Lala Kudermetova, spoke about what the terms of preferential lending will be this year. Due to the high key rate of the Central Bank, the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia has amended the rules for granting preferential loans in terms of a floating rate. The rate depends on the key rate of the Bank of Russia and will change according to its size. Thus, small businesses and farms with revenues of up to 200 million rubles per year receive a preferential loan at a rate of 6.8%, the rest at 10%.

Subsidies for the purchase of fertilisers, machinery and equipment are most in demand among farmers. Роман Хасаев / realnoevremya.ru

“Over the four months of this year, the Rosselkhoznadzor has allocated 7.7 billion rubles to the development of the agro-industrial sector of the republic. This is by 6% more than a year earlier. Of these, 7.5 billion rubles were issued within the framework of the preferential lending programme," the speaker said.

About a thousand people have been attracted to seasonal work in the agro-industrial complex in the republic. Of these, about 300 people work at enterprises in the field of animal husbandry. “Unfortunately, there are not enough of their own personnel in the republic," admitted Marat Zyabbarov, therefore, they try to attract specialists with different offers: somewhere with a salary, somewhere with a housing offer. Enterprises resolve this issue as far as possible.

Vasilya Shirshova
Tatarstan