MOSCOW, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Russia's Minister of Agriculture Yelena Skrynnik said the country would increase the number of acres planted with spring crops this year.
Skrynnic said the Russian government would spent $1.5 billion on crops in 2012, a 4 percent increase over 2010, ANSA news agency reported Tuesday.
With the increased spending, Russia expects to plant 741,316 additional acres this spring compared to 2011.
Russia expects to have 125.5 million acres planted this year with 74.8 million acres devoted to grains and legumes.
Skrynnik also predicted "with favorable weather conditions," that Russia's grain crop would exceed 90 million tons in 2012.
Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov predicted an even higher yield this year. Russia's grain crop should surpass last year's 93.8 million tons harvested, he said.