Harvesting is underway in the fields, and despite the dry, hot weather and drought, the “country’s bread is secure”, Agriculture Minister István Nagy said in a statement on Saturday.
In a video posted on Facebook, Nagy pointed out that the harvesting work started with autumn barley in mid-June and in most places it was already finished by the end of the month.
The minister said that the lack of rain over the past several months was likely to result in lower yields of cereals than in recent years. The drought has hit the counties of Bács-Kiskun, Békés, Csongrád-Csanád, Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok and Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg hardest. In the Transdanubian region, crops received more rain in the critical areas, so the situation is more favorable in these places.
By the end of June, the reported area of damage reached 230,000 hectares. In this situation, the agricultural compensation scheme is an important help for the sector’s agents. So far, 80% of the drought damage declarations relate to winter cereals. A guide from the Ministry of Agriculture will help people to find their way around the compensation scheme, the minister said.
According to István Nagy, farmers have already started harvesting autumn wheat, although the national completion level is still only at 5 percent. So far, farmers in Békés county have made the best progress with the works. In addition, the harvesting of straw has also started, due to increased demand. In addition to wheat, rapeseed is also being harvested, but so far with a national average yield of only 1.5 tonnes per hectare.
The minister stressed that a change of weather is badly needed, because if the first rains do not come within two weeks, maize and sunflower crops could be at serious risk.
István Nagy thanked the farmers whose work is putting fresh and healthy food on the tables of Hungarian families every day. He said the Hungarian agriculture and food industry can feed more than 20 million people.
via Ungarn Heute
Featured photo illustration by György Varga/MTI