The Soviet Union's plans to increase grain crops this year have been frustrated by the weather.
GV PAN Grain crops growing in Ukrains
CU Water from pipe
SV PAN Water travelling along irrigation ditch
SV & CU Machine used to spray water onto crops (4 shots)
GV & SV PAN Bulldozer pulling machinery
SV & GV Cattle (3 shots)
LV & CUs People at work in fields (3 shots)
Initials ES. 1540 SGM/1607
This film was supplied by NBC.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Soviet Union's plans to increase grain crops this year have been frustrated by the weather.
A cold snap in the Ukraine - the "grain bowl" of the Soviet Union - damaged thousands of acres of winter wheat, and a dry spring in the same region has compounded the trouble.
An American reporter from the National Broadcasting Company who visited the Ukraine this week says about a third of the Soviet Union's winter wheat crop has been either lost or destroyed.
The reporter says the Moscow summit talks to take place next week may include a discussion on a trade deal in which the Soviet Union might buy grain from the United States. It is considered possible that in return the United Stated might buy Soviet natural gas - and other commodities.
(The Soviet Union has frequently in the past had to buy grain from overseas to supplement its own crops. Last year, for instance, it bought three-and-a-half million tons of wheat from Canada, and a half-million tons from Australia)
SYNOPSIS: The Ukraine is the "grain bowl" of the Soviet Union. Ut's here that effort is being centred as the government tries to step up its production of wheat. This year, the weather has taken a hand in frustrating these efforts - and much-needed water is being pumped along irrigation canals to grain fields parched by a spring drought. The dry spell follows an unusually cold winter in the Ukraine - and an American reporter in the area this week says about a third of the Soviet Union's winter wheat crop has already been either lost or damaged. Soviet planners had high hopes for this year's crop - which they hoped would reduce Soviet dependence on imported wheat.
Because of the damage to winter wheat crops farm workers here were forced to plough in three thousand acres of damaged plants. Now, mechanical planters are sowing fresh crops...but it's too late in the season for wheat, and the farm workers are having to be content with less valuable crops.
Cattle feed may also be affected by the dry weather - and there's concern that this could set back Soviet plans to enlarge herds. They're anxious to bring more beef and pastoral products onto the market for Soviet housewives.
The American reporter who watched these women working on a collective farm says next week's Moscow summit could produce a trade deal under which the Soviet Union will buy wheat from the United States. In return, it is thought possible Washington might be interested in Soviet products such as natural gas.