Mild weather helps crops in Serbia

Serbia's winter crops, which have been sown on some 700,000 hectares, are in a good condition and have not been threatened by frost, so a good yield of cultivars, wheat above all, could be expected. Wheat has been sown on some 550,000 hectares, followed by rye, barley and...

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Mild weather helps crops in Serbia



Balkans.com Business News Correspondent - 19.02.2013

Serbia's winter crops, which have been sown on some 700,000 hectares, are in a good condition and have not been threatened by frost, so a good yield of cultivars, wheat above all, could be expected. Wheat has been sown on some 550,000 hectares, followed by rye, barley and rapeseed. More by Jelena Milenković.  According to experts of the Serbian Institute for Field and Vegetable Crops of Novi Sad, cereals have been growing well and a record yield is expected this year. Wheat is to produce an excellent yield unless some extreme climate changes occur by early March. At the moment, wheat is passing through an important vegetative process and is progressing well. Precipitations are to increase humidity in soil, which will create better conditions for sowing spring cultivars. Snow has provided good isolation for winter crops, which are undergoing different phases of development, depending on the time of sowing, and are soon to be fed with a highly concentrated nitrogen fertilizer. The forthcoming wheat crops are estimated at four tons per hectare, which could yield some 2.2 million tons of wheat. When the local needs, i.e. feeding the population, are met, there will be nearly one thousand tons of wheat for exports.Last year, the Serbian agricultural sector realized good export results although drought had reduced cultivar crops by as much as 30%. Food prices exploded, so exports exceeded 2.8 billion dollars, which provided a higher agricultural sufficit. One dollar out of four that arrived in the country was practically brought by agricultural food products. The major agricultural export products are maize, soy, refined sugar from sugar beet and wheat. A better yield is expected this year and with the building of irrigations systems export results can improve ten times. The Serbian maize is already famous and Serbia has capacities for becoming the granary of Europe.  According to experts, soybean cultivation and exporting is another field on which chances for the development of Serbian agriculture are based, which opportunities are to grow further after admission to the EU. There is an increasing demand for soybean in Europe – especially for soy that has not been genetically modified. Serbia is the top country in Europe in the field of soybean cultivation. This autumn, some 160,000 hectares were sown with soybean, more than in any EU member-state. Italy is at the second position, with slightly more than 120,000 hectares. Serbia is the leading country in Europe in the field of soybean breeding as well. Owing to the experts of the Institute for Field and Vegetable Crops, domestic varieties have been registered in 15 EU member-states. The products of company Sojaprotein of Becej are well-known in the world and can be found in the European market with designation NON GMO – which means they have not been genetically modified. Soy is tested in all the processing stages and, owing to its quality and the rising demand, new investments are being planned and the product range is to be expanded.  On February 22, Serbia, namely the city of Novi Sad, will be hosting an international gathering entitled ”Dunav soja” The conference, dedicated to soybean cultivation, will gather agricultural experts from all the countries through which the river Danube flows or on which it borders. The initiators of the conference were Austrian crop farming experts and the aim is to improve soy production in Europe. The European market displays high dependency on the import of soy from other continents, so the idea of a "Dunav soja" (Danube’s Soy) declaration originated with a view to reducing such dependency and increase soy production in EU member-states. Source: Radio Srbija


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