Cherkizovo's land bank totals over 287,000 hectares, with around 128,000 hectares located in the most fertile spots, namely the Lipetsk, Orel, Tambov, Voronezh and Penza regions.
The segment’s grain is sold to third parties or used by the Group to produce feed at its in-house feed mills. For this purpose, the Group consumes annually over 1 million tonnes of grain, the key element of poultry and pork feeds.
Over the years, Cherkizovo has been consistently expanding its crop area and increasing yields.
The Company grows, among others, winter and spring wheat, corn, sunflower, barley, pea, soya bean, flax, rapeseed and buckwheat, reallocating land for more productive crops and delivering much higher yields than the country’s average.
The segment's harvest volumes surged by 60% to 805,000 tonnes during the year, and sales growth was not far behind with a 33% increase to 449,215 tonnes. These results are mainly attributable to the acquisition of NAPKO, a leading Russian grain producer.
In 2017, we kept driving the segment’s operational excellence, transferring some equipment to Precision Planting, which kick started in 2016. Also, the Group introduced liquid fertiliser technology boasting greater plant benefits versus the dry one to 80% of row-crop areas, and launched a programme to make the maximum use of organic manure fertilisers from the Group’s Poultry and Pork segments.
The Grain segment is taking active measures to improve soil as part of its long-term strategy. In 2017, Cherkizovo rolled out an amelioration programme seeking to reduce soil acidity and raise the pH value from 4.5 to 6–6.5.
In 2018, the Group has increased the share of lands allocated for grain, including winter and spring wheat and barley, to 55%, while also expanding sunflower lands by 16%.
For several years running, Cherkizovo Group has been ranking first among Russia's major feed producers, according to the Agroinvestor Magazine.
Cherkizovo has its own storage facilities to preserve the crops. Its grain elevators with a total capacity of over 1 million tonnes at a time located in key areas of the Central Black Earth and Volga regions enable the Company to purchase grain at the most attractive prices and effectively manage inventories.