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The most favourable areas for the cultivation of grape-vines in Ukraine are the sands of the lower reaches of the Dnieper in the district of Kherson, the shore of the Black Sea, the Kherson-Odessa districts, and along the Sea of Asov, chiefly in the district of Mariupol. Moreover, as is well known, vines do not suffer from Phylloxera when grown on pure sand. For these reasons, numerous State Departments, and also many private individuals, have spent a great deal of money in utilising this enormous extent of shifting sands for growing grapes.
The unexpected appearance of the larvae of various Scarabaeid beetles, especially Polyphylla fullo, L. (fig. 1), has been a great obstacle to the successful exploitation of these barren spaces. The larvae in the soil generally average about 10–12 to the square metre, and they often completely destroy the newly planted vines in one summer. Many enterprising persons have thus been ruined in their endeavours to form vineyards on the sands. It was stated officially in pre-war times that these pioneers had spent over £2,000,000 sterling without any result.
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