Moscow, Russia – 1 August 2017 – Cherkizovo Group (LSE: CHE; MOEX: GCHE), the largest vertically integrated meat and feed producer in Russia, today announces the start of its 2017 harvesting campaign. The Group expects to harvest up to 750,000 tonnes of crops.
The harvesting campaign began with gathering winter wheat. The first harvesters arrived in the fields in Voronezh region. Harvesting will also take place in Lipetsk, Orel, Tambov, Moscow and Penza regions. The Group’s land bank has significantly increased this year, due to the acquisition of new assets in Lipetsk and Penza regions.
While the harvesting period began two weeks later than the average start date, the forecast for early grain crops remains positive. Wheat, corn, peas and soy will make up the backbone of the 2017 harvest. Cherkizovo Group will also harvest rye and flax for the first time this year. The Group expects significant improvements in yields this year thanks to highly intensive technologies, use of manure and non-organic fertilisers, as well as high-yielding market and hybrid seeds. In 2016, the expected harvest volume is expected to increase by 61% year-on-year.
Cherkizovo Group’s total operational land bank is over 287,000 hectares with winter wheat average crop yield of approximately five tonnes per hectare in 2016. The Group will continue consolidating its land bank over the course of 2016. In 2016, the Group was 24% self-sufficient in grain and that figure is expected to reach 43% by the end of this year.
The grain division plays a key role in Cherkizovo Group’s vertically integrated business model and is one of the Group’s strategic directions for growth. All harvested crops will be utilised to produce feed for its nine feed mills in the Central Black Earth Belt region serving its poultry and pork segments.