Mild and snowless winter might generate serious problems to farmers – expert. Analysis by Info-Prim Neo

The mild and mostly snowless winter is likely to create quite serious problems to farmers in 2007. Unusual high temperatures are much more dangerous than the lack of precipitations. If the temperature will remain high for a period longer than 2 weeks, a significant part of the autumn crops might suffer, economic analyst Viorel Chivriga told Info-Prim Neo. According to the expert, if the temperatures will keep staying at 10 degrees for two weeks and a half, there is the risk that the autumn cultures will enter the vegetation phase and in case of possible frosts the cultures will be definitely compromised. Such risks occurred on December 10-15, when because of the high temperatures the vegetation phase of the cereals started, as well as of some shrubs. This period was followed by a week of subzero temperatures, fact that has practically saved the situation. At present, the low temperatures could diminish for a period the risk of losing the crops. About 360 – 400 hectares or 25% of the total 1.6 mln hectares were sowed with cereal cultures like wheat, barley and rye. The expert says that even if there were not sufficient precipitations in November and December the situation can be mended if the next two winter months will bring sufficient precipitations to accumulate the necessary humidity in the soil. The scarcity of precipitations affects especially the wheat cultures, so that the number of grains in an ear could be small, therefore the crops of grass cereals could be halved. The lack of precipitations could affect fruit trees and vineyards. If the draught will continue, the cultures will be affected in what concerns their quality. [Agriculture is not a hobby] Although the past year was also risky and a significant part of the autumn cultures was compromised because of the frosts, the situation was a little bit different compared with this year, Chivriga says. The fact that the first group cereal crops did not resist to the frosts means that the farmers did not respect the optimal term of sowing, which is September 10-25. Last year, the autumn sowing lasted up to the end of December, so that the cereal cultures failed to grow, and when the temperatures got very low, a significant part of the cultures froze and another part was considerably affected. Because the weather can not be influenced, the advice of the expert for the farmers is to follow technologies, because “agriculture should not be a hobby”. It is an economic field with strict standards in what concerns the terms of the sowing and cultivation technologies in order to diminish the risks caused by weather hazards. An efficient method in this respect is respecting the alternation of crops that diminishes the expenses in the case of the problems related to precipitations, diseases or insect infestation. Referring to the financial support for the farmers who perform the autumn sowing, Viorel Chivruga mentioned that the Fund for the support of farmers could not subsidise them in 2006. However, the farmers could benefit in 2007 from the resources of the Fund as regards the Support of the ecologic development, which are destined to partially cover the expenses related to the development of the ecologic agriculture. The resources provided by the fund could be used by farmers when purchasing high-quality seeds, Chivriga says. The expert also considers that the MDL 2 mln planned in this respect from the total sum of MDL 240 is a ridiculously low sum that will not improve the situation of autumn sowing.

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