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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Faster Harvest Urged

MOSCOW -- Russia's grain crop in 1999 will be lower than the expected 60 million tons unless farmers speed up their harvesting, a top agriculture official said Tuesday.

"We are still sticking to the forecast of 60 million tons, but the slow pace of harvesting may cause grain losses,'' Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shcherbak was quoted by Interfax as saying.

Crops this year have already been damaged by drought and locust swarms. Even so, the harvest is expected to be better than last year's disastrous crop of 47.8 million tons. By last Saturday, Russian farmers had harvested 28.9 million tons of grain, 2.5 million tons better than in 1998.