THE SNOW HAS DEADLOCKED THE CARRIERS, BUT HAS REKINDLED THE HOPE OF FARMERS Tabără: "We will have an excellent year for the spring crops"

EMILIA OLESCU, MIHAI SABIE (Translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
Ziarul BURSA #English Section / 27 ianuarie 2012

Tabără: "We will have an excellent year for the spring crops"

This year will be excellent for the spring crops, due to the snow layer which covered Romania over the last few days, the minister of Agriculture, Valeriu Tabără, told us in an interview: "This year will be excellent for corn, for sunflower and for everything that will be sown in March-April. Now, that we have a layer of snow of almost 40 centimeters, over most of the country I can tell you that without any kind of hesitation. Especially since the snow fell over the ground which hadn't yet frozen solid, so the water will accumulate under the surface. The water reserve is being replenished just like we wanted. What is happening now tells us what to expect in spring. I have been optimistic in autumn as well, not just as a minister or as a politician, but as a technician as well".

He said that the draught of last year's autumn was an exception: "The autumn draught is always present in Romania. This is why rapeseed hasn't been grown for years in Romania, because most of the time, the August-September period is draughty".

The autumn draught will be totally cancelled out by the snow which fell down, the minister said, who also expressed his conviction that "after the snow melts, the field will look different". The main losses this autumn occurred mostly in crops such as rapeseed and fodder which are sown at the end of august, but they can easily be recovered in spring: "In the case of rapeseed, there are also varieties and spring hybrids which yield over three tons/hectare, in compliance with certain technology norms. First of all, the snow is laying down on unfrozen land, which means the crops under the snow will do well".

"Rapeseed, which is not ready for hibernation, did pretty well. Had the frost come in December, I doubt we would have had as much as one hectare of rapeseed this year. But, the way things happened, we have hopes of having about 150,000 hectares of rapeseed in 2012. Around 100,000-150,000 hectares of the ones that were sown were lost, but it seems that about as many will endure".

The snow which fell over the last few days is enough, at the moment, for the wheat crops, the minister said. He went on to say: "I will make a forecast on what the year will look like in February. Because we are waiting for this factor which is crucial in agricultural output. Any agronomist, it doesn't even have to be a good one, knows what needs to be done depending on the amount of water accumulated in the soil between October 1st and April 1st, whereas we were in December and we were talking about the big drought and the major problems we were having".

According to him, we may even have an output of wheat of six tons/hectares even if it were to grow in February. What matters is that the farmers handle the shortcomings technically, by stimulating the biological distinctive features, but at the risk of some supplemental costs.