KYIV, UKRAINE — The Ukrainian grain traders union (UGA) is asking the government to give priority supplies of electricity to grain silos to prevent damage to the harvest, Reuters reported.
Russia has attacked Ukraine’s energy infrastructure with missiles and drone strikes since October. The attacks have made production at grain storage facilities virtually impossible, the grain union said.
The challenges with grain storage can lead to grain spoilage, threatening the country’s food security and exports, the UGA said.
About 10 million tonnes of grain storage capacity was lost because of the war, and Ukraine “cannot afford to lose the harvest that was collected with incredible efforts,” the UGA said.
Ukraine’s 2022 grain crop is estimated at 51 million tonnes, down from a record 86 million tonnes in 2021 due to Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion and lower yields, according to the government.
The UGA said power outages at one enterprise had caused grain to start heating up and the temperature inside a corn storage tank had risen to 114.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
With no electricity, it is not possible to cool or ventilate the grain, the UGA said. In addition, self-heating can cause an emergency at the grain facility.