Kazakhstan finishes grain planting, expects harvest to total 16-17 mln tonnes

(Interfax) -- Kazakh agricultural enterprises have fully completed spring planting work, the Kazakh Agriculture Ministry's press service said.

"According to tentative regional data, planting work has been completed today and the [planting] rates were 1%-2% higher than last year's," the ministry said.

Spring grain has been planted on 15.6 million hectares, including wheat on 13.1 million hectares, barley on 2 million hectares, grain maize on 90,000 hectares and rice on 74,000 hectares.

Oil crops have been planted on 851,000 hectares, including sunflowers on 528,000 hectares, soy on 50,000 hectares and rapeseed on 181,000 hectares. In addition, the country has planted sugar beets on 19,000 hectares and cotton on 165,000 hectares.

The planting area in 2008 is to total 19.9 million hectares, including grain on 16.2 million hectares of which wheat will be planted on 13.6 million hectares.