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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pests Threaten Crops

MOSCOW -- Russian crops, already affected by a severe drought, may suffer further losses from pests if funds to buy insecticides are not found urgently, the Emergency Situations and Agriculture Ministries said Tuesday.

"If the state does not lend support the situation may become catastrophic and will lead to the loss of national security in foodstuffs," the Emergency Situations Ministry said in a statement.

It said that locusts had been detected on over 1,000 hectares out of 1,620 hectares checked for signs of pests in different regions.

Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin said Monday that drought in various parts of Russia meant no more than 60 million to 62 million tons of grains would be harvested this year, well below the initial estimate of 70 million tons.