Tue Apr 15, 2014 07:34 AM CDT

MOSCOW (Dow Jones) -- Spring grain planting in Russia for this year's harvest is ahead of last year's pace due to better weather conditions, the agriculture ministry said late Monday.

Farmers planted spring grains to April 14 on 2.1 million hectares, 6.4% of the planned total area, which is 800,000 hectares more than on the same date last year, the ministry said.

Russia plans to plant spring grains this year on 31.8 million hectares, 1.7% more than last year. The agriculture ministry is aiming for a grain harvest this year of 97 million metric tons, including the recently joined Crimea ...

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