Russia’s Amber Waves of Grain
Being the largest country by land area helps keep Russia one of the world’s big breadbowl economies.
1. Russia has the world’s largest land area of any country, at 16.4 million square kilometers (6.3 million square miles).
2. This is 76% larger than the land area of China, 79% larger than the land area of the United States and 80% larger than the land area of Canada.
3. Other than France, Russia also has the most time zones of any country in the world (11).
4. Thanks to this ample space, spanning nearly an entire hemisphere, Russia ranks third for both land area for wheat cultivation and volume of wheat produced, at 23.9 million hectares (59.1 million acres).
5. Only India and China use more land for wheat production than Russia.
6. Russia’s wheat production covers a land area larger than the total land area of Romania and nearly the size of the United Kingdom.
7. Russia also ranks third for the volume of wheat it produces at 59.1 million metric tons.
8. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union were often viewed as the world’s two most strategically important “breadbaskets,” due in part to their wheat production.
9. Russia’s neighbors and fellow former Soviet Republics Kazakhstan and Ukraine remain major wheat producers as well, ranking sixth and 11th, respectively, for land area cultivated for wheat.
10. If the three countries were still part of one union, their land area devoted to wheat would easily be the largest in the world with the second-largest tonnage of production.
Sources: UN Food and Agriculture Organization, The Globalist Research Center