Published

NASA Harvest studies the farming output of Ukraine using satellite and other Earth science data. A recent analysis observed areas that were left unharvested and found they were mainly concentrated along the front line of the country's conflict with Russia.

The Agriculture program area's food and agriculture consortium, NASA Harvest, connects top researchers, humanitarian aid organizations, economists, policymakers and other leaders to the timely, accurate and actionable information.

Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 fueled widespread concern about the effects on the country’s farming sector. In the early days of the crisis, food security specialists wondered if Ukrainian farmers would be able to harvest the wheat and barley they had planted the previous fall. They also worried that declining grain exports from Ukraine might throw global markets into turmoil and trigger food shortages continents away.

“Now we are starting to get answers,” said Inbal Becker-Reshef, director of the NASA Harvest program. “Our satellite-based production numbers for the 2022 winter wheat crop in Ukraine make clear that farmers had a largely successful harvest.”

The Harvest team calculated that farmers harvested 26.6 million tons of wheat in 2022, several million tons higher than expected in leading forecasts. “That’s down from the previous year’s record harvest of 33 million tons, but it’s close to the five-year average of 27.9 million tons,” Becker-Reshef added. However, Ukraine does not have access to 22 percent of that wheat in the eastern part of the country due to the war. 

More information available in the full NASA Earth Observatory story, Larger Wheat Harvest in Ukraine Than Expected

Map of Ukraine showing yield of farming
Map of Ukraine crop yields July 12-26, 2022. Credits: NASA Earth Observatory

Related Impact