Farmers in Serbia, who sowed wheat this fall, call for snow in order to prevent damage due to its sudden budding and growth, caused by high temperatures, and so that they would not be forced to use a growth regulator, which increases production costs.

Draško Živković from Mali Crnić in the Braničevo district told Beta that wheat that was sown later is better because the wound has grown suddenly, increases the leaf mass, and the root develops less.

“Wheat is in relatively good condition, it is better sown later because it is of lower growth and now snow and frost are needed to stop its growth and later laying, and the result would be a lower yield. If there are still high temperatures in the middle of winter we will be forced to use a growth regulator, which increases production costs,” said Živković, who sowed 30 hectares with wheat.

He said that the same number of hectares were sown in the area this fall as a year earlier, but that some farmers reduced the amount of mineral fertilizer used, due to high prices.

Živković said that most farmers kept surplus wheat from last year’s harvest and were waiting for prices to rise.

“The price of wheat seemed to be at its maximum in mid-November last year and amounted to 43-44 dinars per kilogram, and then it dropped to 35-36 dinars, so we probably made a mistake by not selling it then,” said Živković.

According to the president of the Independent Association of Serbian Farmers, Jovica Jakšić from Bavanište in Banat, larger areas were sown with wheat in the fall than in 2021 for fear that, due to last year’s drought, spring sowing will be more risky.

“Wheat, which was sown early in autumn last year, is in a worse condition than that which was sown later and because of the sunny days it was attacked by insects, so some farmers had to dust it already,” said Jakšić, who sowed about 350 hectares with wheat.

He added that he does not remember that wheat was sprayed against pests, shortly after sowing, and that it is necessary for snow to fall as soon as possible in order to slow down its growth.

He said that most farmers are waiting for the price of wheat to rise in order to sell last year’s surplus, but they also expect the price of mineral fertilizer for spring feeding to drop significantly.

Sunčica Savović, director of the Association for the Promotion of the Production and Export of Cereals and Oilseeds “Zita Srbije”, said that the export of wheat and corn from Serbia has completely stopped even though the restrictions (quotas) have been lifted.

She said that in the Black Sea region there is a large supply of wheat from Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine, and another reason is that the price of domestic grain is not competitive with the prices at which owners from those countries sell it.

“Wheat is not exported from Serbia because domestic prices are not competitive with the prices of Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian and Ukrainian wheat in the port of Constanta. In addition, domestic producers do not offer surpluses for sale because they are waiting for the price to rise, so in about a month the supply will increase when they are forced to sell it due to the purchase of mineral fertilizer,” said Savović.

She added that Serbia is not even able to export surpluses to North Africa (Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria), where wheat is in demand, because there are no adequate means of transport to ship the goods, and transport costs would increase the price. According to her, river barges from Serbia can transport up to 2,000 tons, and ships carrying wheat from those countries carry from 25,000 to 50,000 tons, which tells how many times the barge needs to “turn around” to transport the same amount as the ship.

“Wheat producers in Serbia can wait for a higher wheat price, but the balance sheets do not show that there will be any shortages and price increases,” said Savović and stated that 725,000 hectares were sown with wheat this fall, which is about 17 percent more than a year earlier.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!